Minimally Supervised Multimodal Exercise to Reduce Falls Risk in Economically and Educationally Disadvantaged Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Few studies have evaluated the benefit of providing exercise to underprivileged older adults at risk for falls. Economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with previous falls (mean age 79.06, SD = 4.55) were randomized to 4 mo of multimodal exercise provided as fully supervised center-based (FS, n = 45), minimally supervised home-based (MS, n = 42), or to nonexercise controls (C, n = 32). Comparing groups on the mean change in fall-relevant mobility task performance between baseline and 4 mo and compared with the change in C, both FS and MS had significantly greater reduction in timed up-and-go, F(2,73) = 5.82, p = .004, η2p = .14, and increase in tandem-walk speed, F(2,73) = 7.71, p < .001 η2p = .17. Change in performance did not statistically differ between FS and MS. In community-dwelling economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with a history of falls, minimally supervised home-based and fully supervised center-based exercise programs may be equally effective in improving fall-relevant functional mobility.

Almeida, Santos, Rodrigues, Negrão, Trombetta, and Wajngarten are with the Heart Institute (InCor), São Paulo University Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil. Alexander is with the Dept. of Internal Medicine, and Nyquist, the Institute of Gerontology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Montagnini is with Veterans Affairs, Ann Arbor Health Care System, Ann Arbor, MI.