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Evidence Summary

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Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

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Fall prevention exercise programs reduce falls and prevent injuries in older community dwelling people.

El-Khoury F, Cassou B, Charles MA, et al.  The effect of fall prevention exercise programmes on fall induced injuries in community dwelling older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials  BMJ. 2013;347:f6234.

Review question

Are fall prevention exercise programs effective in preventing falls and reducing fall-related injuries in community dwelling older adults?

Background

Fall-related injuries are common among older adults. They can result in long term pain, functional impairment, hospitalization, and in some cases, death.

How the review was done

This is a summary of 17 randomized control trials. The studies included 2195 participants with an average age of 77 years.

Interventions included group exercise, home exercise, and strength/resistance training exercise.

The impact of exercise interventions was studied for all injurious falls, falls resulting in medical care, falls resulting in serious injuries, and falls resulting in broken bones.

What the researchers found

Exercise programs designed to prevent falls in older adults were effective in reducing falls that would cause injury, falls requiring medical care, falls resulting in serious injuries, and falls resulting in broken bones. 

Conclusion

Fall prevention exercise programs are effective in older adults for preventing falls and injuries from those falls.

 




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DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

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