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Cathy M. Arnold and Robert A. Faulkner

Objective:

To evaluate the effect of aquatic exercise and education on fall risk factors in older adults with hip osteoarthritis (OA).

Method:

Seventy-nine adults, 65 years of age or older with hip OA and at least 1 fall risk factor, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: aquatics and education (AE; aquatic exercise twice a wk with once-a-wk group education), aquatics only (A; 2 wk aquatic exercise) and control (C; usual activity). Balance, falls efficacy, dual-task function, functional performance (chair stands), and walking performance were measured pre- and postintervention or control period.

Results:

There was a significant improvement in fall risk factors (full-factorial MANCOVA, baseline values as covariates; p = .038); AE improved in falls efficacy compared with C and in functional performance compared with A and C.

Conclusion:

The combination of aquatic exercise and education was effective in improving fall risk factors in older adults with arthritis.