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Implications for practice and research
▪ The Otago exercise programme (OEP) can be recommended by nurses for independently ambulant community-dwelling older people, particularly those 80 years and above.
▪ Community health nurses could consider undertaking training, where available, to deliver the OEP.
▪ Older people considering the OEP should be advised of the kinds of adverse events they might experience and how these should be managed should they arise.
▪ Providing ongoing encouragement and examination of those undertaking the OEP will be important in securing the exercise dose required for falls prevention benefits.
▪ Future research of the factors associated with exercise compliance and motivating factors for home exercise programmes will assist in maximising the benefits of these programmes.
Falls are a significant threat to the safety, health and independence of our older citizens.1 Falls are relatively common, with about one-third of people aged 65 years and above experiencing at least one fall annually.1 2 A constellation of adverse health outcomes can follow, including serious injury; increased mortality risk; erosion of overall health status, confidence, mobility and independence; and decreased quality of life.1 2
There is robust evidence that exercise can reduce falls particularly among community-dwelling older people, with the types of exercise and minimum dose having been specified.2 3 One of the programmes that meets these specifications is the OEP. The OEP consists of muscle strengthening and balance retraining exercises that is individually prescribed in the participant's home and includes …