RESEARCH – Falls Prevention


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Reduce falls by improving cognitive function

August 6, 2013

Originally published at UBC CPD, by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose What I did before Falls are a common geriatric syndrome and are the third leading cause of chronic disability worldwide. Falls are not random events and occur, at least in part, due to impaired physiological function, such as impaired balance, and cognitive impairment. Primary care physicians can use the Physiological Profile Assessment screening tool – it has normative data (65 and up) and provides information for patients as well.1 Results from both systematic reviews and meta-analyses highlight that exercise can play an important role in falls prevention.2 The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) – a physical therapist-delivered, or nurse-delivered, progressive home-based strength and … Read more

Category: Falls Prevention, Healthy Cognitive Aging, Publication


Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community.

September 12, 2012

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD007146. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3. As people get older, they may fall more often for a variety of reasons including problems with balance, poor vision, and dementia. Up to 30% may fall per year. Although one in five falls may require medical attention, less than one in 10 results in a fracture. Fear of falling can result in self-restricted activity levels. It may not be possible to prevent falls completely, but people who tend to fall frequently may be enabled to fall less often. This review looked at which methods are effective for older people living in the community, and includes 111 randomised controlled trials, with a … Read more

Category: Falls Prevention, Publication


Otago Home-Based Strength and Balance Retraining Improves Executive Functioning in Older Fallers: A Randomized Controlled Trial

September 15, 2008

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Volume 56, Issue 10, October 2008. Effective falls prevention exercise programs, such as the Otago Exercise Program (OEP), consist of resistance training and balance training exercises.  The current thought is that these types of exercises reduce falls by improving physiology functions, although improved cognitive functions, specifically improved executive functioning, may be another mechanism by which these types of exercises reduce falls in older adults.  However, this research question has been largely unaddressed, because few exercise trials of falls prevention have included measure of cognitive function.  Furthermore, no previous study of the influence of exercise on cognition has specifically included older adults with a history of falls. Background … Read more

Category: Adding Quality to Later Life Years, Falls Prevention, Publication


A multifactorial intervention to reduce the risk of falling among elderly people living in the community.

September 29, 1994

N Engl J Med. 1994 Sep 29;331(13):821-7. Background Since falling is associated with serious morbidity among elderly people, we investigated whether the risk of falling could be reduced by modifying known risk factors. Methods We studied 301 men and women living in the community who were at least 70 years of age and who had at least one of the following risk factors for falling: postural hypotension; use of sedatives; use of at least four prescription medications; and impairment in arm or leg strength or range of motion, balance, ability to move safely from bed to chair or to the bathtub or toilet (transfer skills), or gait. These subjects were given … Read more

Category: Falls Prevention, Publication