Feasibility and effectiveness of a nurse-led community exercise programme for prevention of falls among frail elderly people: A multi-centre controlled trial
Shigeru Inokuchi, Nobuou Matsusaka, Takuo Hayashi and Hiroyuki Shindo
Objective: To determine whether an exercise programme provided by public health nurses is effective in improving physical function and psychological status in elderly people, in reducing falls and risk factors for falls in elderly people, and whether the intervention is a feasible programme within the community.
Design: Controlled intervention trial.
Subjects: Participants included 144 persons in the intervention group and 124 persons in the control group, who were living at home, aged over 65 years, and with 5 or more risk factors for falls identified using the questionnaire for fall assessment (Suzuki).
Methods: For participants in the intervention group, an exercise programme was provided by public health nurses. This comprised a weekly exercise class of 2 hours for 17 weeks, supplemented by daily home exercises. Number of risk factors, physical function and psychological status were compared between the intervention and control groups before and after intervention. The number of further falls during the intervention was also compared between the 2 groups.
Results: The programme significantly improved physical function and emotional status, and reduced the number of falls and risk factors for falls. The excellent adherence rate represented broad acceptance of the intervention.
Conclusion: The intervention programme was effective and feasible to operate in the community.
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