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.
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    Protocol for a home-based integrated physical therapy program to reduce falls and improve mobility in people with Parkinson's disease
    Morris, ME ; Martin, C ; McGinley, JL ; Huxham, FE ; Menz, HB ; Taylor, NF ; Danoudis, M ; Watts, JJ ; Soh, S-E ; Evans, AH ; Horne, M ; Kempster, P (BMC, 2012-07-16)
    BACKGROUND: The high incidence of falls associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) increases the risk of injuries and immobility and compromises quality of life. Although falls education and strengthening programs have shown some benefit in healthy older people, the ability of physical therapy interventions in home settings to reduce falls and improve mobility in people with Parkinson's has not been convincingly demonstrated. METHODS/DESIGN: 180 community living people with PD will be randomly allocated to receive either a home-based integrated rehabilitation program (progressive resistance strength training, movement strategy training and falls education) or a home-based life skills program (control intervention). Both programs comprise one hour of treatment and one hour of structured homework per week over six weeks of home therapy. Blinded assessments occurring before therapy commences, the week after completion of therapy and 12 months following intervention will establish both the immediate and long-term benefits of home-based rehabilitation. The number of falls, number of repeat falls, falls rate and time to first fall will be the primary measures used to quantify outcome. The economic costs associated with injurious falls, and the costs of running the integrated rehabilitation program from a health system perspective will be established. The effects of intervention on motor and global disability and on quality of life will also be examined. DISCUSSION: This study will provide new evidence on the outcomes and cost effectiveness of home-based movement rehabilitation programs for people living with PD. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered on the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12608000390381).