Medical science monitor
Published online 2014 Nov 14
Background: Falling can lead to severe health issues in the elderly and importantly contributes to morbidity, death, immobility, hospitalization, and early entry to long-term care facilities. The aim of this study was to devise a recurrent fall prevention program for elderly women in rural areas.
Material/methods: This study adopted an assessor-blinded, randomized, controlled trial methodology. Subjects were enrolled in a 12-week recurrent fall prevention program, which comprised strength training, balance training, and patient education. Muscle strength and endurance of the ankles and the lower extremities, static balance, dynamic balance, depression, compliance with preventive behavior related to falls, fear of falling, and fall self-efficacy at baseline and immediately after the program were assessed. Sixty-two subjects (mean age 69.2±4.3 years old) completed the program–31 subjects in the experimental group and 31 subjects in the control group.
Results: When the results of the program in the 2 groups were compared, significant differences were found in ankle heel rise test, lower extremity heel rise test, dynamic balance, depression, compliance with fall preventative behavior, fear of falling, and fall self-efficacy (p<0.05), but no significant difference was found in static balance.
Conclusions: This study shows that the fall prevention program described effectively improves muscle strength and endurance, balance, and psychological aspects in elderly women with a fall history.