Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise programs could help to prevent fall injuries in elderly

Date:
October 29, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Exercise programs designed to prevent falls in older adults also appear to prevent injuries caused by falls.

Exercise programs designed to prevent falls in older adults also appear to prevent injuries caused by falls, suggests a new paper.

Fall-related injuries are very common among older people and are a major cause of long-term pain and functional impairment. They also increase the risk of discharge to a nursing home and have a high economic cost.

Well-designed exercise programs can prevent falls in older adults living at home. However, evidence to date that these programs can prevent injuries caused by falls is poor.

Researchers from France therefore looked to see whether fall-prevention exercise programs are associated with a significantly lower risk of fractures and other injuries due to falls. The main aim of the paper was to review the current evidence about the effect of exercise interventions on different outcomes of injurious falls.

Data were taken from the Cochrane Library, Pubmed, EMBASE and CINAHIL through June 2013. The review included 17 trials with a total of 2195 participants in the exercise group and 2110 in the control groups. The mean age was 76 years and 77% were women.

Tai Chi was the exercise in two of the trials but the rest consisted of gait, balance and functional training (exercise which involves training for activities performed in daily life). Most trials also included strength / resistance training exercises.

The review revealed substantial variations in the definition and classification of injurious falls and most trials did not provide a reference for their definition. Injurious falls usually included very diverse consequences ranging from relatively minor injuries such as bruises to fractures and other serious injuries requiring hospitalizations. Four injurious falls categories were therefore distinguished for this review, based on severity or medical care.

Most of the exercise interventions tended to reduce injurious falls in all categories. Exercise seemed to significantly decrease the rate of falls resulting in medical care, serious injuries and fractures.

This review provides evidence that fall prevention exercise programs for older people not only reduce fall rates but also prevent injuries resulting from falls in older community-dwelling individuals. The researchers say this effect appears most pronounced for the most severe fall-related injuries.

All the exercises that proved to be effective for fall prevention emphasized balance training which the researchers say is "ample evidence that this type of program improves balance ability." They also add that this may be down to "improving cognitive functioning."

The researchers say that this review, the first of its kind, suggests that "reducing the risk of falling and improving protective responses during a fall may be an important and feasible means of preventing fractures and other serious injuries in the elderly." They add this finding is especially important as most fractures in the population occur in older people at moderate "bone risk" for their age and that "additional effective strategies that can be proposed to larger segments of the elderly population will be necessary to reduce the burden of fractures."

In conclusion, the researchers say that the results show a "positive effect of exercise on injurious falls, including the most severe falls." They add that the results provide useful additional evidence for health care providers to encourage patients to take part in exercise fall-prevention programs. They suggest that future trials should aim to address some of the limitations by providing data on other important outcomes, such as the quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. El-Khoury, B. Cassou, M.-A. Charles, P. Dargent-Molina. 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 (oct28 9): f6234 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f6234

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Exercise programs could help to prevent fall injuries in elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029220753.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, October 29). Exercise programs could help to prevent fall injuries in elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029220753.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Exercise programs could help to prevent fall injuries in elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029220753.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins