The Effect of Physical Therapy on Fall Prevention in Elderly Population

Gabrielė Kasperavičiūtė, Inesa Rimdeikienė


Background. Falls is a common problem of older people. It is the second common cause of mortality in the world. Fractures that occur during fall can cause deterioration in quality of life and increase the fear of falling. The newest science research suggests that strengthening and balance exercises are important for the fall prevention in older people. The older individuals who perform special exercises show a decrease in the fear of falling and an increase in self-confidence in daily tasks. Research shows that exercise programme to prevent falls lasted for half a year to see the result. In this study the main aim was to find the effect of physical therapy using Otago exercise programme for three months and to examine the results of preventing risk of falls, balance training and Research aim was to evaluate the efficacy of the 3-month Otago exercise programme on the risk of fall, balance and gait in elderly and old Methods. Twenty-two persons (nine elderly and 13 old people) participated in this study. Selection criteria were: 65–84 years of age, walking independently, mini mental state examination ≥ 20. Participants received Otago exercise programme for 3 months. Procedures were performed three times a week. Parameters of mental state, risk of falling, balance and gait were Results. Risk of falls and balance parameters increased statistically significantly from 19.18 ± 2.09 to 21.41 ± 1.43 points. Gait parameters produced an average increase from 17.64 ± 3.53 to 14.18 ± 3.03 s. When comparing between age groups, reducing risk of falls and balance was more effective on elderly people – from 19.33 ± 2.06 to 21.67 ± 1.22 points. Comparing gait between age groups, the greater change was found in the elderly people’s group 18.11 ± 3.44 to 14.56 ± 3 Conclusion. After 3 months of physiotherapy in the elderly and old people groups, risk of falls decreased statistically significantly (p < 0.05), gait parameters in both groups increased statistically significantly (p < 0.05). When comparing results before and after physiotherapy, there was no statistically difference between both groups (p > 

Keywords: falls, gait, elderly people, old people.

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