Additional exercise for older subacute hospital inpatients to prevent falls: benefits and barriers to implementation and evaluation

Clin Rehabil. 2007 Aug;21(8):742-53. doi: 10.1177/0269215507079842.


Objective: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and implementation of a falls prevention exercise programme for preventing falls in the subacute hospital setting.

Design: Randomized controlled trial, subgroup analysis.

Participants: Patients of a metropolitan subacute/aged rehabilitation hospital who were recommended for a falls prevention exercise programme when enrolled in a larger randomized controlled trial of a falls prevention programme.

Methods: Participants in both the control and intervention groups who were recommended for the exercise programme intervention were followed for the duration of their hospital stay to determine if falls occurred. Participants had their balance, strength and mobility assessed upon referral for the exercise programme and then again prior to discharge. Participation rates in the exercise programme were also recorded.

Results: Intervention group participants in this subgroup analysis had a significantly lower incidence of falls than their control group counterparts (control: 16.0 falls/1000 participant-days, intervention: 8.2 falls/1000 participant-days, log-rank test: P = 0.007). However few differences in secondary balance, strength and mobility outcomes were evident.

Conclusion: This exercise programme provided in addition to usual care may assist in the prevention of falls in the subacute hospital setting.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Geriatrics
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Postural Balance
  • Rehabilitation Centers*