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J Gerontol Nurs. 2000 Mar;26(3):43-51.

A fall prevention program for elderly individuals. Exercise in long-term care settings.

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University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City 52242, USA.


The purpose of this research was to explore the role of exercise in preventing falls, specifically assessing the effectiveness of an ankle strengthening and walking program to improve balance, ankle strength, walking speed, and falls efficacy and to decrease falls and subjects' fear of falling. Sixteen individuals participated in the study which was conducted at two nursing homes. Subjects were assigned randomly to an intervention or control group. The participants in the intervention group completed a 3-month supervised program of ankle strengthening exercises and walking. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample, and differences in the least square means were used to assess the outcome variables (i.e., balance, ankle strength, walking speed, falls, fear of falling, falls efficacy) before the exercise program, and again at 3 months and 6 months after the program for the intervention and control subjects. Findings for the intervention group from pretest to 3-month posttest were, for the most part, maintained or in the predicted direction, suggesting that regular exercise shows promise for preventing deterioration and improving fall-related outcomes for elderly nursing home residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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