J Korean Community Nurs.  2001 Dec;12(3):600-608.

Effect of Rhythmic Exercise Program to Elderly on Risk Factors of Fall Injury

Affiliations
  • 1Seoul National University, Korea.
  • 2Community health depart in Do-Bong-Gu Public Health Center, Korea.

Abstract

Accidents are the fourth-leading causal factor of death among the elderly, and fall is a major type of accident (53.17%). Many cases of falls in the elderly result in delayed discovery and loss of quality of life. As the number of the elderly grows, falls will be a more important health problem. Most previous research on falls investigated prevalence, mortality, and the related factors. There are many studies proving the effect of rhythmic movements. But few researches considered linking risk factors of fall with rhythmic movements. PURPOSE: We want to show the changes after performing rhythmic movement program, in risk factors of falls and mobility such as flexibility, balance, muscle power and persistency in the elderly, in order to provide basic information needed for the development of fall injury prevention program for the elderly. METHOD: The design of this study is quasi-experimental, the equivalent control group, pretest-posttest. The subjects consist of 124 people who lived in Do-Bong-Gu, Seoul, agreed to participate in this study, and were able to follow this rhythmic movement program. About 93% of them are from 65 to 84 years (Mean+/-sd: 73.7+/-5.7); 64% are female. The rhythmic movement program was designed, and performed by two community health nurses working in the Do-Bong-Gu Public Health Center, regularly twice a week from May, 4 to December, 17, in 10 senior citizens' community centers. Risk factors of fall were measured with RAFS-II (Risk Assessment for Falls Scale II) by asking about each item; mobility was measured by observing their specific movements asked by investigators.
RESULTS
1. After performing the program during 7 months, risk factors score of falls were decreased significantly (paired-t = 4.77, p>0.01). 2. After performing the program during 7 months, flexibility (paired-t = 2.26, p=0.03) and mobility were improved (paired-t = 4.98, p>0.01), but muscle power and persistency did not change (paired-t = 0.33, p=0.74). Overall, mobility affecting the occurrence of falls was improved significantly (paired-t = 5.15, p>0.01).
CONCLUSIONS
A regular rhythmic movement program can be helpful in preventing falls in the elderly. Further, we can develop a fall injury prevention program using rhythmic movement.

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