Health-related quality of life in home care recipients after a falls prevention intervention: a 6 month follow-up

Maria Bjerk, Therese Brovold, Jennifer C Davis, Dawn A Skelton, Astrid Bergland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
248 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Falls in older adults are an increasingly important public health concern due to the expanding older population and contribute considerably to the global burden of disease. Home care recipients have a high incidence of falls and a low level of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). In this understudied group of older adults, exercise interventions could prevent falls, promote HRQOL and enable healthy ageing in the longer term.
Methods: The study is a single-blinded parallel-group randomized controlled trial, lasting 3 months with a follow-up at 6 months, conducted in primary care. The objective was to explore the effects of a falls prevention exercise programme post-intervention at a 6-month follow-up in home care recipients 67+ years with a history of falls. The Otago Exercise Programme lasting 3 months was performed. The primary outcome was HRQOL measured by the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). Linear mixed regression models and structural equation models were employed.
Results: At 6-month follow-up, the intervention group scored significantly higher on SF-36’s physical component summary compared with the controls; 3.0 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.4, 5.6. This effect was mediated by an increased probability of maintaining exercise in the post-intervention period; odds ratio = 2.3 (CI = 1.1, 5.1). Exercising was associated with a 7.1-point increase in physical component summary (CI = 3.2, 10.9).
Conclusion: A falls prevention exercise programme can improve physical HRQOL in home care recipients post-intervention. The exercise programme also led to longer-term changes in exercise behaviour mediating this effect.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberckz106
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • exercise
  • follow-up
  • home care services
  • public health medicine
  • elderly
  • health-related quality of life
  • fall prevention
  • SF-36
  • primary outcome measure


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