Effectiveness of a multiple intervention programme for the prevention of falls in older adults persons from a University of the Third Age

Vilmar Mineiro da Silva Alex Sandro Faria de Arruda Laís dos Santos Vinholi e Silva Francisco Luciano Pontes Junior Meire Cachioni Ruth Caldeira de Melo About the authors

Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the effectiveness of a multiple intervention programme for the prevention of falls in older adults from a University of the Third Age (U3A).

Method:

A quasi-experimental, non-controlled, longitudinal and quantitative study was performed. 69 older adults were allocated into three groups: Control (CG), Physical Exercise (PEG) and Multiple Intervention (MIG). The instruments/tests used were: sociodemographic questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale (15-items), Mini-Mental State Examination, Timed-Up and Go (TUG), Sit-to-Stand and Hand-Grip Strength, Falls Efficacy Scale-International and Falls Risk Awareness Questionnaire (FRAQ).The PEG and MIG groups underwent physical training (walking, muscular resistance, and balance) for 16 weeks (2x/week, 60 min/session). In the same period, the MIG also participated in educational sessions (1x/week, 60min/session). Covariance analysis was used for group comparisons. The effect size of the interventions was also calculated. The level of significance was set at p<0.05.

Results:

51 older adults (67±6.2 years and 76.3% women), of whom 15 were in the CG, 20 in the PEG and 16 in the MIG, concluded the study. TUG time in both intervention groups was reduced, but FRAQ score improved in the MIG only. Both interventions had a small effect on TUG time, while multiple intervention had a large effect on FRAQ.

Conclusion:

Multiple intervention brought additional benefits to the older adults from this U3A. In addition to improving balance, the older adults who underwent the multiple intervention increased their knowledge about risk factors for falls.

Keywords:
Health of the Elderly; Accident Prevention; Accidental Falls; Exercise Movement Techniques; Physical Fitness; Health Education.

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