Investigation of Older Adults’ Participation in Exercises Following Completion of a State-wide Survey Targeting Evidence-based Falls Prevention Strategies

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Den-Ching A. Lee
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Lesley Day
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Caroline F. Finch
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Keith Hill
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Lindy Clemson
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Fiona McDermott
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Terry P. Haines
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This paper examines whether involvement in an observational study may prompt participants to change their exercise behaviors. Data were collected from 394 older community dwellers in Victoria, Australia using a baseline survey, and 245 of these participated in a follow-up survey one year later. Survey domains were drawn from constructs of relevant health behavior models. Results showed that the proportion of respondents who were currently participating in exercises to prevent falls at follow-up was 12% higher than at baseline (Wilcoxon p value < .001). Twenty-nine percent reported they had changed their perceptions about falls and their risk of falls, with comments focused on threat appraisal. Forty-four percent reported having taken strategies to reduce their risk of falling, with comments based on implementation of different preventive strategies. Respondents who held favorable views toward exercises for the prevention of falls appear to change their behaviors that might address falls when participating in observational studies.

Lee is with the Allied Health Research Unit, Monash Health & Physiotherapy Department, Monash Health, Australia. Day is with the Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Finch is with the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, Federation University, Ballart, Australia. Hill is with the School of Physiotherapy, Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Clemson is with the Occupational Therapy Department, University of Sydney, Australia. McDermott is with the Social Work Department, Monash University & Social Work Department, Monash Health, Australia. Haines is with the Allied Health Research Unit, Monash Health & Physiotherapy Department, Monash University, Australia. Address author correspondence to Den-Ching A. Lee at angel.lee@monashhealth.org.

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