Effects of a falls exercise intervention on strength, power, functional ability and bone in older frequent fallers: FaME (Falls Management Exercise) RCT secondary analysis

Dawn A. Skelton, Olga M. Rutherford, Susie Dinan-Young, Marlene Sandlund

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Abstract

Objectives: Falls Management Exercise (FaME) has been shown to reduce falls in frequent fallers and in lower risk sedentary older people. The effects of FaME on the strength, power, physical function and bone health of frequently falling older women are yet to be established. Methods: This paper reports secondary analysis of data from the original randomised controlled trial of FaME in 100 community dwelling women aged =65 years with a history of =3 falls in the previous year. Intervention was group delivered, weekly one hour tailored dynamic balance and strength exercise classes and home exercise for nine months. Outcome measures included: strength (handgrip, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip abductors, ankles), lower limb explosive power and functional tests (timed up and go, functional reach, timed floor rise and balance), analysed using Linear Mixed Model analysis. Bone Mineral Density (BMD) at hip and spine was measured in a smaller sub-group and analysed using t-tests. Results: Significant time*group interactions in all measures of strength, except isometric ankle dorsiflexion, concentric hamstring and eccentric quadriceps strength. These improvements in strength equated to average improvements of 7-45%. There were also significant improvements in explosive power (W/kg) (18%, p=0.000), timed up and go (16%, p=0.000), functional reach (17%, p=0.000), floor rise (10%, p=0.002) and eyes closed static balance (56%, p=0.000). There was a significant loss of hip BMD in the control group (neck of femur p<0.05; ward’s triangle p<0.02). Conclusion: The FaME intervention improves lower limb strength, power and clinically relevant functional outcomes in frequently falling older women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Frailty, Sarcopenia and Falls
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • exercise
  • intervention
  • falls prevention
  • strength
  • balance
  • RCT
  • functional ability
  • bone health
  • falls
  • power
  • physical function

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