Falls and balance

As we get older we are more susceptible to falling over and losing our balance. As falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalisation in older people, this is one of NARI's key research areas with a focus on identifying physiological and behavioural risk factors, and prevention strategies.

For further information on these projects, please contact Dr Frances Batchelor: F.Batchelor@nari.edu.au or Sue Williams: S.Williams@nari.edu.au

Building Better Bones with Exercise (B3E)

B3E, or exercise for osteoporosis, is a study designed to test the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial of home exercise in women with vertebral fractures. The project is coordinated by the University of Waterloo, Canada.

A pragmatic trial of the implementation of a balance screening and home exercise program through existing community health services

This project investigated whether the provision of a home exercise program for people with mild balance dysfunction implemented in a DVA funded project can be implemented with similar level of success through existing community health settings.

Falls prevention after stroke survivors return home

This multi-centre study evaluated the effectiveness of a targeted falls intervention program in reducing falls following stroke. It has been shown that individuals who have suffered stroke have a higher rate of falls than in the general population.

Effectiveness of a screening program for early balance problems and targeted exercise interventions among older community ambulant Veterans

Many older people who feel a little unsteady, or experience occasional falls tend to put this down to the effects of ageing, and do not seek advice about the fall, or ways to minimise risk of future falls. This study recruited 225 older people who were independent walking away from home, but who felt unsteady or had occasional minor falls.

Preventing future falls in older people presenting to the Emergency Department following a fall

The project evaluated the effectiveness of a targeted multi-factor intervention in improving health and well being of older people who present to an Emergency Department (ED) following a fall. It also identified those within this high-risk population most likely to benefit from the intervention program.