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Ángeles CMM, Laura AM, Consuelo CSM, Manuel RR, Eva AC, Covadonga GPA. Arch. Gerontol. Geriatr. 2022; 99: e104620.


(Copyright © 2022, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Falls are a major public health problem. Fear of falling is highly prevalent amongst community-dwelling older adults who have already fallen and it is also a risk factor for recurrent falls. There has been limited research about the impact that exercises programs have on the fear of falling. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) reduced the fear of falling in non-institutionalised people aged 65-80 years in Spain. It also evaluated the factors associated with the fear of falling.

METHODS: This was a quasi-experimental study that focused on people aged 65-80 who attended 21 primary healthcare centres, lived in the community, were able to walk independently and provided written, informed consent. They were recruited from September 2017 to December 2019. The OEP sessions took place at the primary healthcare centres and were provided on an individual or group basis by trained OEP instructors. The participants attended five weekly sessions, where they were given exercises to develop their strength, balance and endurance. They then continued the programme at home. The subjects were followed up 12 months after baseline and the analyses included a bivariate analysis and a multivariate analysis with logistic regression.

RESULTS: We enroled 498 patients (67.07% female) with an average age of 71.81 years. More than two-thirds (65.06%) lived with a partner and 42.37% were overweight. Significant reductions were observed in the mean level of fear of falling between baseline and 12 months (p = 0.000). A number of factors associated with fear of falling also showed significant differences. These were: age (p = 0.033), sex (p = 0.000), living alone (p = 0.000), body mass index (p = 0.003) and whether psychotropic drugs were used (p = 0.000). The multivariate analysis showed a moderate to high fear of falling amongst participants who were female (p = 0.000), 72-80 years of age (p = 0.017), obese (p = 0.045) and used psychotropic drugs (p = 0.021).

CONCLUSIONS: Taking part in the OEP reduced the overall fear of falling. There were significant associations between fear of falling and being female, taking psychotic drugs and having a history of falls. This study is a quasi-experimental sign nested an experimental study (randomized controlled trial previously published and registered on (NCT03320668)). Retrospectively registered on 25/10/2017.

Language: en


Aged; Prevention; Primary care; Exercise; Fear of falling; Nursing


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