Fall prevention training reduces the number of older people that fall by 15% and those who do fall, fall less often. Fall prevention lowered the number of falling incidents with almost a quarter compared to elderly who did not follow a fall prevention program, or an intervention that did not target fall prevention. A fall prevention program is also better than interventions that do not target falls, such as education, a social activity or very easy exercise. Both outcomes have a high degree of certainty, researchers say.
Especially fall prevention programs in which elderly do balance exercises or functional training, seem effective. Researchers determined with a high degree of certainty, that the number of falling incidents reduced with almost a quarter and the number of fallers with one eighth. Tai chi training also reduced the number of fallers by 20 percent. However, the 19 percent reduction in the number of falling incidents after tai chi was less certain. For strength training, dance training and walking training, researchers could not demonstrate a clear effect.
When health care professionals supervised the fall prevention program, the number of falling incidents was 31 percent lower than with supervision of trained instructors who were not health care providers, but in both scenarios the number of falls reduced. For the number of fallers, the supervision did not make any difference. Whether participants were older than 75 years or had a higher risk of falling at the start, made no difference for the effect of fall prevention. Furthermore, the effect was equal for elderly who trained in groups and those who trained individually. The effects were less clear for elderly who were just discharged from the hospital.