Minimising disability and falls in older people through a post-hospital individualised exercise program. [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Catherine Sherrington (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Constance Vogler Prof Catherine Dean Prof Jacqueline Close Prof Robert Cumming
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Brief description This study aims to implement and evaluate the Functional Activities for Better Balance (FABB) program, a tailored exercise program which is designed to minimise disability and falls, among older adults who have recently had a hospital stay. A randomised controlled trial will be undertaken to determine the success of the program in minimising disability and falls and improving balance, muscle strength, and reaction time, quality of life and fear of falling. In addition, predictors of adoption of and adherence to the exercise program and the cost effectiveness of the program will be established. We will recruit 350 older people in the first six months after an in-patient stay in aged care and rehabilitation wards at one of two large teaching hospitals. Participants randomised to the intervention group will be asked to complete an individualised home exercise program three times a week. In addition, they will be offered a choice between receiving monthly physiotherapy home visits or attending exercise classes. These weekly exercise classes will be conducted by physiotherapists and will be made up of 6-8 people. The control group will receive an education booklet about falls prevention and will be given the opportunity to join the program on a self-funding basis after their one-year control period is complete. Post-intervention between-group comparisons will be made using appropriate statistical techniques including regression models. Additional analyses will establish predictors for program adoption and adherence and cost-effectiveness (the incremental cost per fall prevented in the exercise group compared with the control group). This study addresses an increasingly important health care problem in a systematic manner and thus has the potential to substantially enhance the health of older people in Australia and internationally.

Funding Amount $AUD 536,435.05

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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