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J Safety Res. 2011 Dec;42(6):473-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Reducing fall risk by improving balance control: development, evaluation and knowledge-translation of new approaches.

Author information

1
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada. brian.maki@sri.utoronto.ca

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Falling is a leading cause of serious injury, loss of independence, and nursing-home admission in older adults. Impaired balance control is a major contributing factor.

METHODS:

Results from our balance-control studies have been applied in the development of new and improved interventions and assessment tools. Initiatives to facilitate knowledge-translation of this work include setting up a new network of balance clinics, a research-user network and a research-user advisory board.

RESULTS:

Our findings support the efficacy of the developed balance-training methods, balance-enhancing footwear, neuro-prosthesis, walker design, handrail-cueing system, and handrail-design recommendations in improving specific aspects of balance control. IMPACT ON KNOWLEDGE USERS: A new balance-assessment tool has been implemented in the first new balance clinic, a new balance-enhancing insole is available through pharmacies and other commercial outlets, and handrail design recommendations have been incorporated into 10 Canadian and American building codes. Work in progress is expected to have further impact.

PMID:
22152265
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2011.02.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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