Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Effects of a Multifactorial Falls Prevention Program for People With Stroke Returning Home After Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    Batchelor, FA ; Hill, KD ; Mackintosh, SF ; Said, CM ; Whitehead, CH (W B SAUNDERS CO-ELSEVIER INC, 2012-09)
    OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a multifactorial falls prevention program reduces falls in people with stroke at risk of recurrent falls and whether this program leads to improvements in gait, balance, strength, and fall-related efficacy. DESIGN: A single blind, multicenter, randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. SETTING: Participants were recruited after discharge from rehabilitation and followed up in the community. PARTICIPANTS: Participants (N=156) were people with stroke at risk of recurrent falls being discharged home from rehabilitation. INTERVENTIONS: Tailored multifactorial falls prevention program and usual care (n=71) or control (usual care, n=85). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were rate of falls and proportion of fallers. Secondary outcomes included injurious falls, falls risk, participation, activity, leg strength, gait speed, balance, and falls efficacy. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in fall rate (intervention: 1.89 falls/person-year, control: 1.76 falls/person-year, incidence rate ratio=1.10, P=.74) or the proportion of fallers between the groups (risk ratio=.83, 95% confidence interval=.60-1.14). There was no significant difference in injurious fall rate (intervention: .74 injurious falls/person-year, control: .49 injurious falls/person-year, incidence rate ratio=1.57, P=.25), and there were no significant differences between groups on any other secondary outcome. CONCLUSIONS: This multifactorial falls prevention program was not effective in reducing falls in people with stroke who are at risk of falls nor was it more effective than usual care in improving gait, balance, and strength in people with stroke. Further research is required to identify effective interventions for this high-risk group.