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Comparison of Fall Risk Education Methods for Primary Prevention with Community-Dwelling Older Adults in a Senior Center Setting

Hakim, Renée M. PhD, PT, NCS1; Roginski, Aileen MPT2; Walker, Jason MPT3

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: August 2007 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 60–68
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine which of 2 primary prevention education programs was more effective in increasing knowledge and prompting behavior change to reduce fall risks among community-dwelling older adults who attended Senior Centers.

Methods: A convenience sample (N=69) was recruited at 4 local senior centers to compare 2 fall risk education methods. Subjects were divided randomly by location into a class and pamphlet (CP) group (n = 35) that received a one-hour class plus written information and a pamphlet only (PO) group (n = 34) that received only written information. Pretesting for level of knowledge was conducted at baseline and at 2 weeks following the intervention and data were also collected on risk factor reduction behaviors.

Results: There was no significant difference (p=0.34) between groups for knowledge posttests. The CP group reported 121 changes to reduce fall risk while the PO group reported 120 changes. Subjects who had been injured by past falls (n=22) were significantly (p=0.04) more likely to report changes than those who had not fallen or were not injured by a fall.

Conclusion: Both methods prompted fall risk reduction behaviors. This study provides an example of community-based, primary prevention programs designed to reduce fall risk factors among older adults.

1Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

2Performing Arts Physical Therapy, New York, NY

3The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Reading, PA

Address all correspondence to: Renée M. Hakim, University of Scranton, 800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510, Ph: 570–941–7935, Fax: 570–941–7940 (hakimr2@scranton.edu).

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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