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Review: several interventions reduce fear of falling in older people living in the communityCommentary

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R Zijlstra

Correspondence to: Ms R Zijlstra, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; R.Zijlstra@zw.unimaas.nl

QUESTION

In older people in the community, which interventions reduce fear of falling?

METHODS

Data sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and PsycINFO (to 2005); reference lists; and 14 experts.

Study selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed fear of falling in community-dwelling people who had a mean age ⩾65 years. Studies of people with a specific medical condition were excluded. 19 RCTs met the selection criteria. Interventions included multifactorial interventions (8 RCTs), tai chi (3 RCTs), exercise interventions (4 RCTs), balance interventions (6 RCTs), hip protectors (1 RCT), and a fall risk-factor intervention (1 RCT). Some RCTs assessed ⩾1 intervention. 3 interventions had the explicit aim of reducing fear of falling. Duration of interventions ranged from 1 home visit to 1 hour/week for 1 year. Study follow-up ranged from 1.5 …

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