Effects of a falls prevention exercise programme on health-related quality of life in older home care recipients: a randomised controlled trial

Maria Bjerk, Therese Brovold, Dawn A Skelton, Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Astrid Bergland

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Background falls have serious consequences for quality of life (QOL) and contribute substantially to the global burden of disease. Home care is an important arena to address falls prevention and QOL, but this vulnerable group of older adults is underrepresented in health research. This study explores the effects of a falls prevention exercise programme on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), physical function and falls self-efficacy in older fallers receiving home care. Methods the study design is a parallel-group randomised controlled trial. The intervention group performed a falls prevention programme based on the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP). The control group received usual care. 155 participants were recruited from primary health care in six Norwegian municipalities. Local physiotherapists supervised the programme. The primary outcome, HRQOL, was measured by the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). Secondary outcomes were Berg Balance Scale (BBS), 30-s sit to stand (STS), 4-m walk test, instrumental activities of daily living and Falls Efficacy Scale International. Results intention-to-treat analysis showed that, compared to the control group, the intervention group improved on SF-36's physical component summary as well as BBS. However, the intervention group also demonstrated a decline in the mental health subscale of SF-36. Per-protocol analyses showed significant improvements in all physical subscales of SF-36, STS and BBS scores in the intervention group compared with the control group. Conclusion a falls prevention exercise programme based on OEP significantly improved physical HRQOL and balance in older adults receiving home care. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov. NCT02374307. First registration, 16 February 2015.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafy192
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019



  • ageing
  • quality of life
  • Falls prevention
  • care homes
  • intervention

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