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BACKGROUND: Each year, 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 years of age will experience a fall. It is important to identify and address modifiable risk factors that are associated with falls in adults at high and low risk for falls.
HYPOTHESIS: Falls risk improves in both high-risk and low-risk participants with the implementation of Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL).
STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 3.
METHODS: Seventy-eight older adults (age, 70.9 ± 5.1 years) were included in this study and categorized into high risk and low risk for falling based on the falls risk score from the Physiological Profile Assessment. High risk was defined as having a preintervention falls risk score >1, whereas low risk was defined as having a preintervention falls risk score <1. Both groups had the same 10-week intervention. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to compare differences pre- and postintervention, using preintervention falls risk score as covariate.
RESULTS: Results showed that regardless of preintervention falls risk, participants showed significant improvements in right and left knee extensor strength and sit-to-stand after participation in the 10-week SAIL program. Also, noteworthy is that 15 participants who were considered at high risk for falling preintervention were considered low risk for falling postintervention.
CONCLUSION: The positive outcomes noted on modifiable risk factors suggest SAIL can be beneficial for decreasing falls risk in older adults, regardless of risk of falling, using a multifactorial exercise intervention. Our results also showed that it was possible for participants not only to improve falls risk but to improve to such a degree that they change from high risk to low risk of falling.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Our results demonstrated that SAIL was effective in improving overall fall risk after a 10-week intervention. Targeted community-based interventions for the aging population can bring physical health benefits that can decrease falls risk.
© 2023 The Authors
This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.
Original Publication Citation
Estep, A., Morrison, S., Caswell, S. V., Ambegaonkar, J. P., Vaz, J. R., & Cortes, N. (2023). Multifactorial exercise intervention decreases falls risk in high-risk and low-risk older adults. Sports Health, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1177/19417381231158658
Estep, Amanda; Morrison, Steven; Caswell, Shane V.; Ambegaonkar, Jatin P.; Vaz, João R.; and Cortes, Nelson, "Multifactorial Exercise Intervention Decreases Falls Risk in High-Risk and Low-Risk Older Adults" (2023). Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty Publications. 100.