Original article| Volume 91, ISSUE 11, P1705-1711, November 2010

Efficacy of a Short Multidisciplinary Falls Prevention Program for Elderly Persons With Osteoporosis and a Fall History: A Randomized Controlled Trial


      Smulders E, Weerdesteyn V, Groen BE, Duysens J, Eijsbouts A, Laan R, van Lankveld W. Efficacy of a short multidisciplinary falls prevention program for elderly persons with osteoporosis and a fall history: a randomized controlled trial.


      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.


      Randomized controlled trial.




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


      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.


      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.


      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.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      ABC (Activity-specific Balance Confidence), ANOVA (analysis of variance), BMD (bone mineral density), CI (confidence interval), DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), IRR (incidence rate ratio), LAPAQ (LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire), M1 (baseline), M2 (postintervention), M3 (1-year follow-up), NFPP (Nijmegen Falls Prevention Program), QOL (quality of life), QUALEFFO-41 (Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis)
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