Older Adult Perceptions of Participation in Group- and Home-Based Falls Prevention Exercise

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This paper describes why older adults begin, continue, and discontinue group- and home-based falls prevention exercise and benefits and barriers to participation. Telephone surveys were used to collect data for 394 respondents. Most respondents reported not participating in group- (66%) or home-based (78%) falls prevention exercise recently. Reasons for starting group-based falls prevention exercise include health benefits (23–39%), health professional recommendation (13–19%), and social interaction (4–16%). They discontinued because the program finished (44%) or due to poor health (20%). Commonly reported benefits were social interaction (41–67%) and health (15–31%). Disliking groups was the main barrier (2–14%). Home-based falls prevention exercise was started for rehabilitation (46–63%) or upon health professional recommendation (22–48%) and stopped due to recovery (30%). Improvement in health (18–46%) was the main benefit. These findings could assist health professionals in prescribing group-based falls prevention exercise by considering characteristics of older adults who perceive social interaction to be beneficial.

Robins is with the School of Physiotherapy, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Department, Monash University, Australia, and the Allied Health Research Unit, Kingston Centre, Monash Health, Australia. Hill is with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Faculty of HealthSciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Day is with the Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Australia. Clemson is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia. Finch is with the Centre for Healthy and Safe Sport (CHASS), University of Ballarat, Australia. Haines is with Allied Health Research Unit, Monash Health, Victoria, Australia. Southern Physiotherapy Clinical School, Monash University, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Lauren Robins at Lauren.robins@monash.edu.