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Effects of a Randomized Controlled Recurrent Fall Prevention Program on Risk Factors for Falls in Frail Elderly Living at Home in Rural Communities

Mi Yang Jeon, HyeonCheol Jeong, Haneul Lee, Jerrold Petrofsky, JongEun Yim

Department of Nursing, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2283-2291

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890611

Available online:

Published: 2014-11-14

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 and 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.

Keywords: Accidental Falls - prevention & control, Aged, 80 and over, Ankle - physiopathology, Frail Elderly, muscle strength, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Physical Endurance, postural balance, Residence Characteristics, Risk Factors, Rural Population