Efficacy of a short multidisciplinary falls prevention program for elderly persons with osteoporosis and a fall history: a randomized controlled trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Nov;91(11):1705-11. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.08.004.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of the Nijmegen Falls Prevention Program (NFPP) for persons with osteoporosis and a fall history in a randomized controlled trial. Persons with osteoporosis are at risk for fall-related fractures because of decreased bone strength. A decrease in the number of falls therefore is expected to be particularly beneficial for these persons.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Hospital.

Participants: Persons with osteoporosis and a fall history (N=96; mean ± SD age, 71.0±4.7y; 90 women).

Intervention: After baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to the exercise (n=50; participated in the NFPP for persons with osteoporosis [5.5wk]) or control group (n=46; usual care).

Main outcome measures: Primary outcome measure was fall rate, measured by using monthly fall calendars for 1 year. Secondary outcomes were balance confidence (Activity-specific Balance Confidence Scale), quality of life (QOL; Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis), and activity level (LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire, pedometer), assessed posttreatment subsequent to the program and after 1 year of follow-up.

Results: The fall rate in the exercise group was 39% lower than for the control group (.72 vs 1.18 falls/person-year; risk ratio, .61; 95% confidence interval, .40-.94). Balance confidence in the exercise group increased by 13.9% (P=.001). No group differences were observed in QOL and activity levels.

Conclusion: The NFPP for persons with osteoporosis was effective in decreasing the number of falls and improving balance confidence. Therefore, it is a valuable new tool to improve mobility and independence of persons with osteoporosis.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00432692.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00432692