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Journal Article


Thölking TW, Lamers ECT, Olde Rikkert MGM. Gerontology 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Geriatric Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands,


(Copyright © 2020, Karger Publishers)






BACKGROUND: Even though poor lighting at nighttime is an important risk factor for falls (and most falls occur during the night), lighting interventions to improve nightly lighting from bed to bathroom are rarely evaluated for fall prevention.

OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that an automated guiding light would reduce nightly fear of falling (FOF) and increase sleep quality of community-dwelling older people.

METHODS: This study had a pragmatic uncontrolled before-after design, including participants during a period of 8 months if they (i) were aged at least 65 years, (ii) ambulated independently at night, and (iii) had no cognitive or audiovisual impairments obstructing outcome measurement. Automated LED strips (GightTM) were installed in the participants' homes. The primary outcome measure was overnight FOF on a scale of 0-10. Secondary outcome measures included sleep quality on a scale of 0-10 and fall rate. Additionally, a sample of participants was interviewed about their experiences with Gight.

RESULTS: Sixty-four participants were included (mean age: 80.8 ± 8.1 years; 89% living independently). Mean study length was 118 days (range: 30-231). In the intention-to-treat analysis, overnight FOF declined from 5.5 ± 3.0 to 3.8 ± 3.2 (p = 0.001), and sleep quality increased from 6.7 ± 2.4 to 7.4 ± 1.7 (p = 0.012). The fall rate during the study was too low to detect changes. Participants appreciated Gight (8.4 ± 0.8 on a scale of 10), and the majority (57%) reported a subjective decrease in FOF.

CONCLUSION: Gight shows promising results for overnight FOF and sleep quality, but the effect of lighting interventions on fall rate should be evaluated further before widespread implementation.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Language: en


Falls; Fear of falling; Guiding light; Night; Prevention


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