Introduction In order to prevent falls, older people should exercise for at least 2h per week for 6months, with a strong focus on balance exercises. This article describes the design of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based exercise programme delivered through a tablet computer to prevent falls in older people.
Methods and analysis Participants aged 70years or older, living in the community in Sydney will be recruited and randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. The intervention consists of a tailored, home-based balance training delivered through a tablet computer. Intervention participants will be asked to complete 2h of exercises per week for 2years. Both groups will receive an education programme focused on health-related information relevant to older adults, delivered through the tablet computer via weekly fact sheets. Primary outcome measures include number of fallers and falls rate recorded in weekly fall diaries at 12 months. A sample size of 500 will be necessary to see an effect on falls rate. Secondary outcome measures include concern about falling, depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life and physical activity levels (in all 500 participants); and physiological fall risk, balance, functional mobility, gait, stepping and cognitive performance (in a subsample of 200 participants). Adherence, acceptability, usability and enjoyment will be recorded in intervention group participants over 2 years. Data will be analysed using the intention-to-treat principle. Secondary analyses are planned in people with greater adherence. Economic analyses will be assessed from a health and community care provider perspective.
Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was obtained from UNSW Ethics Committee in December 2014 (ref number HC#14/266). Outcomes will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.
Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN)12615000138583.
- REHABILITATION MEDICINE
- PUBLIC HEALTH
- QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
- PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
- GERIATRIC MEDICINE