A Matter of Balance (MOB) is an evidence-based fall prevention program shown to reduce fear of falling (FOF) in English-speaking participants. The effectiveness of translated (Chinese and Spanish) MOB materials in reducing FOF is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether MOB was associated with reduced FOF in Chinese- and Spanish-speaking participants and included an English-speaking comparison group. Participants were recruited from MOB classes in Massachusetts and Illinois. Investigators used the Falls Efficacy Scale–International (FES-I) and a demographic questionnaire to survey the participants at the first class (baseline), the last class, and 6 months after the MOB course. Of the 90 participants who enrolled, 77 (85.6%) completed the course (Chinese: n = 37; Spanish: n = 19; and English: n = 21) and 54 (60%) completed the 6-month survey (Chinese: n = 33; English: n = 21). Chinese FES-I scores significantly increased (FOF worsened) at the end of the course (+7.1, p = .009), and 6-month survey scores were also significantly above the baseline score (+6.7, p = .0088). FES-I scores decreased (FOF declined) in both the Spanish (−6.6, p = .016) and English groups (−2.7, p = .14) at the last class, and English 6-month FES-I scores were slightly lower than baseline scores (−0.4, p = .8). Participation in the MOB program did not reduce FOF in the Chinese population, but MOB did show promise in reducing FOF in both the Spanish and English groups. Future studies are warranted to explore the cultural, social, and education-related factors that may influence effectiveness of the MOB program.
Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts (Drs Wolfe and Bugaev and Arabian); and Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Tufts University, and Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Boston, Massachusetts (Ms Breeze).
Correspondence: Nikolay Bugaev, MD, FACS, Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St #4488, Boston, MA 02111 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The manuscript was presented at the 31st Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) Annual Scientific Assembly. January 11, 2018: Lake Buena Vista, FL. (Selected as a Cox Templeton Injury Prevention Competition Paper)
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.