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A home-based, nurse-delivered exercise programme reduced falls and serious injuries in people ≥ 80 years of age

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 QUESTION: In people ≥ 75 years of age, is a home-based exercise programme that includes strength and balance retraining delivered by a nurse effective for reducing falls and related injuries?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with 1 year of follow up.


A home health service in a geriatric assessment and rehabilitation hospital in New Zealand.


240 people who were ≥ 75 years of age (mean age 81 y, 68% women) and were living in their own homes. Exclusion criteria were inability to walk around their own residence, current receipt of physiotherapy, or inability to understand the study. 88% of participants completed 1 year of follow up.


121 participants were allocated to a home-based exercise programme run by a district nurse. The programme was implemented as part of the nurse's usual work and included muscle strengthening and balance-retraining exercises of increasing difficulty as well as a walking programme. Individually tailored exercise …

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  • Source of funding: Health Funding Authority Northern Division, New Zealand.

  • For correspondence: Dr M C Robertson, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Otago Medical School, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand. Fax +64 3 474 7641.

  • A modified version of this abstract also appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.

  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.