This article describes a retrospective evaluation of assessments from the community delivery of the Free From Falls (FFF) multi-factorial fall prevention group exercise and education program that was launched in 2011 by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The findings suggest improved outcomes for people with MS such as improved balance confidence, balance performance, functional mobility and reduced falls.

This review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce the rate of falls in individuals with MS. It compared single, multiple and multifactorial interventions.

This publication includes examples of research that have the potential to broaden approaches to fall prevention research. This includes information relevant to the care of older adults.

The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate existing evidence on the effectiveness and safety of Tai Chi to inform guidelines to clinicians to improve symptom management in individuals with MS.  While this review didn’t focus specifically on older adults, its findings regarding health outcomes particularly functional balance and quality of life can support its incorporation into individualized multifactorial fall prevention interventions.

This longitudinal cohort study investigated the validity of the 7-item Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) as a measure of fear of falling in people with MS. Scores were found significant in predicting recurrent falls in the following 3 months.

This study aimed to complete a comprehensive investigation of factors which contribute to a fear of falling in individuals with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Functional balance performance, dependence in ADLs, and fatigue were independently associated with fear of falling.  

This study included 141 participants with the mean age of 68 years with Parkinson’s disease. Participant falls and near falls were tracked daily for a 6 month period. The investigators found that the strongest contributing factor was fear of falling followed by a history of near falls and retropulsion.

The authors of this article argue the benefit of classifying recurrent fallers into sub-groups based on fall frequency. Fall prevention and management strategies targeting specific sub-groups of people with Parkinson's disease should be investigated and evaluated in their efficacy to reduce fall frequency.

Perturbation-based balance training is an intervention including repeated postural perturbations aimed at improving control of rapid balance reactions. This study concluded that this kind of intervention appears to reduce fall risk among older adults and those with Parkinson’s disease.

Tuesday, November 14th from 11:30am to 12:30 pm EST.  Dr. Almeida, Director of the Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University will be presenting about a way to systematically consider the underlying factors that may underlie balance symptoms as well as their interactions in order to identify novel treatment strategies for Parkinson's disease. Register here.