Development of a fall prevention protocol for replication in a virtual environment


Several effective fall prevention exercise programs address the problem of falls. The primary challenge is not to develop effective programs, but to find ways to motivate older people to begin and maintain these programs while delivering these programs to as many older adults as possible. This short-term pilot study collected preliminary data on the design and testing of a balance rehabilitation protocol that could be replicated in a virtual gaming environment like the Wii Fit. The protocol, based on evidence- based practice, focused on strength, endurance, and functional reach. Eight older adults participated in twelve one hour sessions with an occupational therapist and exercise professional. Outcome measures included the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale, Life Space Questionnaire, and postural sway. Results suggest that the protocol was effective in improving postural sway (as measured by a force plate), reducing fear of falling, and increasing perceived life space.

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Walker, B. and Huber, L. (2012) Development of a fall prevention protocol for replication in a virtual environment. Advances in Aging Research, 1, 47-52. doi: 10.4236/aar.2012.12006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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