Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Keywords

Accidental Falls -- prevention & control; Aged; Aged, 80 and Over; Exercise Therapy; Osteoporosis -- prevention & control; Quality of Life; Risk Assessment

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Exercise programs aimed at prevention of osteoporosis are effective in fall prevention and improving mobility in older adults. This trial examined whether the Bone Builder's community exercise program decreases fall risk and improves mobility in community dwelling females over the age of 60.

Methods: Fifty one females ages 60-90 who currently are participating in the Bone Builder's program volunteered to participate in four different assessments as well as two questionnaires. Tests included: the 4-stage balance, timed up and go, gait speed (measured with the GAITRite system), 30 second sit-to-stand, and grip strength. The Functional Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) and the Quality of Life survey were the two questionnaires used to assess participants' subjective views of fall concern and improvement of living quality.

Analysis: Data was entered into an excel file and transferred to SPSS to be analyzed. Descriptive statistics were performed to investigate trends and compare to industry norms for each age group.

Results: Overall, all participants were within the normative data ranges on all tests. The eight repeat subjects, on average, scored higher on the tests in comparison to first time study subjects. However, these eight repeat subjects saw a decline from 2013 to 2014 in all tests, except the 30 second sit-to-stand test.

Conclusion: Participation in community exercise programs for older adults is beneficial in decreasing fall risk, improving mobility, and improving overall quality of life. As shown by the data, implementing exercise programs and promoting participation in more communities may have a positive effect on the overall safety and well-being of older individuals. This will continue to become increasingly important as the longevity of life is rising, and the baby boomer generation ages and becomes an increased risk for falls.

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