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The investigators will evaluate the difference between a commonly accepted paradigm of balance training (BT) and a more dynamic and task specific form of balance training, perturbation-based training (PBT) in older adults. BT is a key evidenced based strategy for preventing falls in older adults, however it needs to be regular (2hours/week) and long term (>6moths) while the average effect is only moderate (24%). The reason for the moderate effect on falls is like to be the non-specific stimulus presented during BT. That is, training tends to be quasi-static and slow and largely based on movements described as strength training. However, when an individual loses balance, they are most often required to implement a rapid and dynamic response. Furthermore, while older adults who are unable to recover balance well have generally lower strength, our recent work has demonstrated that it is not their force producing capability that limits them. Rather it is the ability to access moderate levels of muscular force very rapidly and early in the recovery step that differentiates successful versus unsuccessful recovery of balance. Importantly, the ability to produce an effective and rapid recovery step is predicative of avoiding future real world falls. An emerging fall prevention training regimen is perturbation-based training (PBT). PBT involves rapidly disrupting balance requiring the participant to take rapid steps to recover balance. This is commonly achieved on a laboratory treadmill equipped with a safety harness to prevent actual falls during training. By simulating "real-world" balance challenges such as slips and trips, PBT provides a direct means for learning how to recover balance and avoid falls. It has been demonstrated that with only a few PBT sessions, older adults make rapid and dramatic improvements in balance recovery performance, retain the skills long-term and potentially suffer fewer falls over extended periods. This study builds on the previous published work of the PI that describes the key factors related to differences in balance recovery performance, the neuro-motor coordination strategies used during successful and unsuccessful recovery, and currently unpublished pilot studies indicating the efficacy of PBT. To date studies have not directly compared BT regimes recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) against PBT, nor have they evaluated the influence of training on the incidence of real-world falls. In part this may be because PBT currently requires the use of expensive, laboratory treadmills and as such is not accessible by the average independent, community dwelling older adults. A specific randomized study is required and our overall purpose for this study is to compare the balance recovery performance of older adults following either BT or PBT, evaluate differences in the incidence of real-world falls, and develop a safe, effective and portable device for use in future community PBT training studies. The short-term goals are to determine the effect of PBT versus BT and the neuro-motor mechanism of improved recovery behavior. Aim 1: To evaluate differences in balance recovery behavior in older adults following either balance training (BT) and perturbation-based training (PBT) and the incidence on real-world falls. H1: Balance recovery performance will improve in both BT and PBT groups but will be significantly better in those completing PBT when compared to BT. H2: Improvements in balance recovery behavior will be related to improved coordination and neuro-motor control strategies. H3: Real world loss of balance events will be similar in both BT and PBT but incidence of resulting falls will be lower in the PBT group.
In this project, we propose to demonstrate the feasibility of remotely-monitored, caregiver (or spouse)-administered, home-based tDCS intervention to improve mobility in ambulatory older adults with recent falls. This is a three-phase feasibility study in older, ambulatory adult participants at risk of falling due to a loss of balance (participant faller, PF) together with a willing and able participant administrator (PA) that is available during weekdays to administer tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) to the PF. Phase 1 is focused on the development and refinement of our training materials for home-based tDCS for PF/PA pairs. The objectives of this phase: 1. Identify areas of confusion and challenges for older adults. 2. Refine our training materials to accompany the home-based tDCS system. In Phase 2, we will complete a pilot trial in 12 PF/PA pairs to assess the feasibility of deploying home-based tDCS in larger clinical trials, and to prepare for the development and implementation of such trials. The objectives of this phase: 1. Determine the mean/range number of visits needed for in-person training. 2. Compliance and retention with the study protocol. 3. Safety/side effects of home-based tDCS, as compared to previously established laboratory-based tDCS data. We hypothesize that adult PAs are able to successfully administer home-based tDCS to PFs. We also expect that PF/PA pairs will exhibit excellent adherence to the intervention and that the prevalence and severity of reported tDCS side-effects will be similar to that observed in previous laboratory-based studies. In Phase 3, we will complete a pilot trial in up to 18 PF/PA pairs; i.e., those who have previously successfully completed either Phase 1 or Phase 2. The study objectives/aims for Phase 3 are: 1. Further explore compliance and retention with the study protocol over a longer time period 2. Identify safety/side effects of home-based tDCS over a longer time-period as compared to previously established laboratory-based tDCS interventions. In Phase 3, we hypothesize that adult PA's who have previously demonstrated the ability to successfully administer tDCS at home, will retain competence and compliance with administration over a longer period, up to 1 year.
This study aims to examine the effect of external, internal and no attention focus walking training during gait rehabilitation on real-time conscious motor processing (reinvestment), balance, walking ability and fear of falling by older adults at risk of falling in Hong Kong. One-hundred and eight older adults will be recruited from elderly community centers in Hong Kong. Participants will be randomly assigned into 3 groups (i.e., No Attention Focus Walking Group (NAFWG; active control group, n=36), an External Attention Focus Walking Group (EAFWG, n = 36) or an Internal Attention Focus Walking Group (IAFWG, n = 36)). Participants in different groups will have training sessions (about 45 minutes each) three times per week for 4 weeks in a group of 6 participants. A total of 12 sessions will be completed by each participant. All training sessions will be conducted by experienced registered physiotherapists in Hong Kong and a research assistant with experience in exercise training for older adults. In each training session, all groups will have warm-up (5 minutes), balance training (5 minutes), body transport training (5 minutes), body transport with hand manipulation training (5 minutes), walking training with various levels of difficulties in a 40-meter walkway with different instructions in different walking groups (20 minutes) and cool down (5 minutes). For the walking training (20 minutes), all participants will be invited to conduct walking training on a walking field with an area of 25 meter square and a total walking distance of about 40 meters for each walking trial from cone 1 to 9. Two screens that connected with a laptop computer will be positioned 1 meter beside the walking field. Both screens will be projected different digits from 0 to 9 randomly in the speed of 2 seconds per digit. Participants in the NAFWG, EAFWG, and IAFWG will receive different instructions during walking training. Each participant will complete assessment sessions (total 3 assessment sessions) before training at baseline (T0), just after completion of all training sessions (T1) and 6 months after completion of all training sessions (T2). In the baseline assessment (T0), a structural questionnaire will be used to ask for demographics, medical history, detailed history of fall incident, social history and social economic status of all participants. A battery of assessments will be conducted to assess physical and cognitive abilities of the participants in all assessment sessions (T0, T1, & T2). Walking ability will be assessed by the 10 meters comfortable and fast walking speed (Bohannon, 1997). Functional balance and gait assessment will be done by the Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool (Tinetti, 1986), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) (Berg et al., 1989) and the Timed 'Up & Go' Tests (TU&G) (Podsiadlo & Richardson, 1991). Cognitive function will be evaluated by the Chinese version Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-C) (Folstein et al., 1975; Chiu et al., 1994). The Chinese version of the Fall Efficacy Scale International (FES-I (Ch)) (Kwan, Tsang, Close & Lord, 2013) will be completed to assess the fear of falling. The Chinese version Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS-C) (Masters et al., 2005; Wong et al., 2015a; Wong et al., 2015b) will be administered to examine the conscious motor processing propensity (i.e., movement specific reinvestment). The alpha2 EEG coherence between T3 (verbal-analytical region of the brain) and the Fz (motor planning region of the brain) (i.e., T3-Fz EEG coherence) of all participants when walking at the 6-meter level-ground walkway (three walking trials) will be determined to identify the real-time conscious motor processing propensity (Zhu et al., 2011; Ellmers et al., 2016; Chu & Wong, 2019). All participants will be equipped with EEG electrodes before the start of the three walking trials. EEG activity will be received using a wireless EEG device (Brainquiry PET 4.0, Brainquiry, The Netherlands) and will be recorded using the real-time biophysical data acquisition software (BioExplorer 1.5, CyberEvolution, US). Previous research has demonstrated that alpha2 (10-12Hz) T3-Fz EEG coherence is sensitive at detecting within-subject changes in real-time conscious motor processing propensity during a postural sway task (Ellmers et al., 2016). T4-Fz EEG coherence will be utilized to identify whether the changes in the alpha2 T3-Fz EEG coherence will be due to global activation of the brain. The EEG electrodes are non-invasive and will not be used in any diagnostic purpose. All participants will be asked to record their number of falls prospectively at the time between T1 (completion of all training sessions) and T2 (6 months after completion of all training sessions) using a structural calendar. The number of falls within the 6-month follow-up period will then be collected.
"La Casa nel Parco" (CANP) Project is a multidisciplinary project funded by the European Union and Regione Piemonte aimed to explore innovative technology application in the care of older subjects. In this context, ADAMO is a single arm open label trial evaluating the capability of a wearable watch device to correctly detect fall events in community-dwelling older subjects aged 75 years and older, at high risk of falls. Secondary objectives of the study are to identify specific patterns on telemetric measures and health status variations able to predict future fall events, and to evaluate the tolerability and the influence on patient's quality of life of this wearable device. The main objectives of the study are to evaluate the impact of the intervention on 1) medication adherence after discharge 2) medication appropriateness.
Due to the aging of the earth's population in the coming years, strategies for preventing falls in the elderly are of increasing research interest. Injuries due to falls have a direct impact on the quality of life of the elderly and are associated with very high costs for the healthcare system. However, few organized fall prevention interventions have been implemented in Greece, unlike other EU countries. The systematic recording of falls, the information and education of older people about injury prevention and the participation of older people in organized fall coping strategies in Greece are almost non-existent. Group exercise programs have proven to be effective in reducing falls. The OTAGO exercise program has shown that it can effectively reduce the number of falls in the elderly by up to 54%. However, its widespread implementation by a government agency in Greece such as the Elderly Day Care Centers (EDCC) has not yet been possible.
The purpose is to evaluate reach, effects and costs effectiveness of a mobile, fall prevention exercise program for older community-dwelling persons (70+ years) in a pragmatic trial. Information about the study will be spread to the population by letters sent to all households with someone aged 70 years or older, presentations for senior organizations, advertisements on busses, health care centers, senior centers and in social media. Participants will be recruited in one municipality through the website (www.ostersund.se/sakrasteg) including information about the aim and procedures of the study. If seniors themselves judge that they are eligible to participate in the study, they can register by providing their email address. After baseline assessment, through self-reports in a digital survey, participants will get access to the mobile health application. The estimated target group is 2600 persons. Recruitment will be ongoing for six months. The intervention is delivered through the Safe Step application, developed in co-creation with seniors and researchers. Safe Step provides a large repository of evidence-based balance and strength exercises in video formats alongside falls preventive information and advice. With the Safe Step app the user can compose an individualized exercise program suitable for their needs. To help the user adhere to the program a set of behaviour change techniques is provided by the program. The user can set their own goals, get reminders and positive feedback form a virtual physiotherapist, and follow their own progress. Advice on how to integrate the exercises into everyday activities is also offered. The participants will exercise on their own with the help of the application for one year, with a recommendation of 30 minutes at least 3 times/week. In addition, participants will get monthly emails with falls preventive information in short videos, they will also be asked to report any falls by responding to a survey attached to the message. In order to maximize reach and to support participants to get started using the Safe Step application, technical support and group-based exercise will be provided. The interventions will last for 1 year with follow up assessments at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months in addition to the monthly fall reports. Effects and cost effectiveness will be evaluated in relation to a previously registered RCT NCT03963570.
This study will utilise an assessor blinded, randomised controlled design to investigate the acceptability and feasibility of providing a novel tele-rehabilitation balance training system (HOLOBalance) for community dwelling older adults at risk for falls. Older adults (age 65-80) who meet the inclusion criteria (e.g. independently living, no neurological conditions) will be recruited from falls services and from the wider community (via AgeUK) and will be randomly allocated to receive either a prescribed exercise programme delivered by: 1) the HOLOBalance tele-rehabilitation system or 2) an exercise booklet (The OTAGO Home Exercise Programme). Participants will be required to perform a series of prescribed exercises each day (duration of up to 30 minutes per day) for the entirety of the 8-week exercise programme. These exercises will be provided via the HOLOBalance tele-rehabilitation system (intervention arm) or by written instructions (control arm). Primary objectives for this study are to assess recruitment rate, compliance with exercise programmes (exercise diaries) and drop-out rates within the intervention group and a control group undertaking standard practice, home based balance rehabilitation (the OTAGO Home Exercise Programme) to explore whether HOLOBalance is acceptable to participants. Furthermore, acceptability to older adults will also be investigated via exit interviews performed within the HOLOBalance tele-rehabilitation intervention arm. Feasibility will be assessed by documenting adverse events (and SAE's), adverse device effects (and SADE's), deviations from protocol and feedback from treating clinicians. Implementation issues such as technology break down, service delivery and usability issues will also be documented. Secondary outcomes to explore trends for effectiveness will investigate performance of both groups at baseline and after the 8 week intervention across a range of outcome measures associated with balance function and falls risk, cognitive function, Physical activity and social participation, and subjective report of mobility and balance.
Despite decades of research into patient falls, falls and the injuries incurred continue to be a serious threat to patient safety. Fall rates continue to be unacceptably high. The purpose of this project is to increase the safety of a hospital room for patient mobility, using innovative simulation strategies and patient-centric design.
The overall aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a digital self-management exercise program in preventing falls in community dwelling older people. Participants will be recruited in Sweden through the website (www.sakrasteg.se) providing study information. On the website interested seniors will get information about the aim and procedures of the study as well as inclusion and exclusion criteria. If seniors themselves judge that they are eligible to participate in the study they can register by providing their email address. After baseline assessment, through self-reports in a digital survey, participants will be randomized to either an exercise intervention or a control group in a 1:1 ratio. The investigators aim to include 1400 participants and recruitment will be ongoing continuously for one year. The exercise intervention is delivered through the Safe Step application, developed in co-creation with seniors and an interdisciplinary research team. Safe Step provides a large repository of evidence based exercises in video formats alongside falls preventive information and advice. With support of this application the user can compose an individualized exercise program with balance and strength exercises suitable for their needs. To help the user adhere to the program a set of behaviour change techniques is provided by the program. The user can set their own goals, get reminders and positive feedback form a virtual physiotherapist, and follow their own progress. Advice on how to integrate the exercises into everyday activities is also offered. The participants will exercise on their own with the help of the application during one year, with a recommendation of 30 minutes at least 3 times/week. In addition to the exercise intervention the participants will every month get an email with falls preventive information in short videos, they will also be asked to report any falls by responding to a survey attached to the message. The exercise group will be compared to a control group that will receive the same information emails as the exercise group, but no individual exercise advice. The interventions will last for 1 year with follow up assessments at 3, 6, 9, and 12 month in addition the monthly fall reports. Due to the nature of the study, with no face to face contact, all outcome measures are self-reports and self-tests in digital surveys. The primary outcome is fall rate. The study follows the CONSORT guidelines and CONSORT EHEALTH criteria.
The objective of this study is to determine if a four-week, 20-session intervention of personalized transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as compared to sham intervention, improves dual task standing and walking performance (Aim 1), as well as other physical (Aim 2) and cognitive (Aim 3) factors on the causal pathway to falls, in older adults who report two or more falls within the past year and fear of falling again in the future, yet who do not have any acute or over neurological or musculoskeletal condition. Primary endpoints will include the "dual task" costs to gait speed when walking and postural sway speed when standing, as induced by performing a serial subtraction cognitive task (i.e., [(speeddual task - speedsingle task) / speedsingle task) X 100] (Aim 1), the Short Physical Performance Battery (Aim 2), and the Trail Making Test (Part B minus Part A) (AIM 3). Secondary endpoints will include the dual task cost to serial subtraction performance, additional gait and balance outcomes derived from the dual task paradigm, the Timed Up-and-Go, fear of falling, habitual physical activity, and performance within a battery of neuropsychological tests focused on global cognitive function, attention, verbal fluency and memory.