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Introduction Many older adults experience fear of falling, which may reduce participation in routine activities. A Matter of Balance (MOB) and Un Asunto de Equilibrio (ADE) workshops were offered in South Florida to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels in older adults. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of the lay leader model of the programs in the first year of their implementation and to further report on participant outcome measures.
Methods We analyzed reach, adoption, and implementation data for participants who attended workshops between October 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009, who were aged 60 years or older, and who had both baseline and posttest outcome data. Workshops were in English and Spanish and consisted of 8 two-hour sessions. Participants completed a 7-item baseline and posttest questionnaire that consisted of a falls management scale, a social activity item, and modified version of Physician-Based Assessment and Counseling on Exercise. We analyzed outcome data on multiple characteristics using a general linear model. A class evaluation questionnaire measured participant satisfaction.
Results Results for 562 participants who provided both baseline and posttest data showed significant improvement on 6 of 7 questions for MOB and all questions for ADE (P < .001). The 391 participants who provided evaluation data indicated that the programs were effective, beneficial, and well organized.
Conclusion Lay leaders successfully implemented the programs in community settings. The programs were effective in reducing fear of falling among older adults.
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Batra A, Melchior M, Seff L, Frederick N, Palmer RC. Evaluation of a community-based falls prevention program in South Florida, 2008-2009. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110057
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