Background: the 'Otago exercise programme' (OEP) is a strength and balance retraining programme designed to prevent falls in older people living in the community. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of the OEP on the risk of death and fall rates and to explore levels of compliance with the OEP in older adults.
Methods: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Clinical trials where the OEP was the primary intervention and participants were community-dwelling older adults (65+) were included. Outcomes of interest included risk of death, number of falls, number of injurious falls and compliance to the exercise programme.
Results: seven trials, involving 1503 participants were included. The mean age of participants was 81.6 (±3.9) years. The OEP significantly reduced the risk of death over 12 months [risk ratio = 0.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.25-0.80], and significantly reduced fall rates (incidence rate ratio = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.56-0.79). There was no significant difference in the risk of a serious or moderate injury occurring as the result of a fall (risk ratio = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.91-1.22). Of the 747 participants who remained in the studies at 12 months, 274 (36.7%) were still exercising three or more times per week.
Conclusion: the OEP significantly reduces the risk of death and falling in older community-dwelling adults.