‘We got more than we expected.’ Older people’s experiences of falls-prevention exercise interventions and implications for practice; a qualitative study

Lafond, Natasher, Maula, Asiya, Iliffe, Steve, Vedhara, Kavita, Audsley, Sarah, Kendrick, Denise and Orton, Elizabeth (2019) ‘We got more than we expected.’ Older people’s experiences of falls-prevention exercise interventions and implications for practice; a qualitative study. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 20. e103. ISSN 1463-4236

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/s1463423619000379


AIM: To explore the experiences of older adults participating in strength and balance exercise programmes and understand participants' rationale for programme uptake and completion.

BACKGROUND: Regular physical activity, specifically strength and balance exercises, has been shown to improve health and well-being and reduce the risk of falling in older adults. With the number of people living into older age increasing, understanding older people's experiences of strength and balance programmes and what encourages their take-up and completion is extremely important. This paper reports on the qualitative experiences of older adults that previously participated in ProAct65+, a randomised controlled trial of Falls Management Exercise (FaME) programme and Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) versus usual care.

METHODS: Ten general practices in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, England, who participated in the ProAct65+ trial were approached to take part. Using maximum variation sampling (age, gender, falls history, fear of falling and trial arm) we recruited, via the practices, 30 people that had participated in the FaME (n = 15) or OEP (n = 15) trial arms. Participants were interviewed in their own homes. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

FINDINGS: We identified five themes: choice of exercise programme; commitment, discipline and motivation; benchmarking, feedback and monitoring; benefits of the exercise programmes and reactions to the end of the programmes. There were four sub-themes within the benefits theme: pleasure and boredom, social interaction and isolation, physical benefits, and knowledge and understanding.This study has outlined the experiences and identified specific barriers and facilitators to uptake and completion of falls-prevention exercises by older adults. The perspective and experiences of these participants is important if programmes are to be designed to meet the needs of the target population. Insights from this study will enable commissioners to develop and provide appropriate falls-prevention exercise programmes that encourage high uptake and programme completion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR) [project code 264] for all authors. This paper presents independent research funded by the NIHR SPCR. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR, the NHS or the Department of Health.
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 13:06
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 13:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47064

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