Background: People with multiple sclerosis (MS) fall frequently. In 2011, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society launched a multifactorial fall-prevention group exercise and education program, Free From Falls (FFF), to prevent falls in MS. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of participation in the FFF program on balance, mobility, and falls in people with MS. Methods: This was a retrospective evaluation of assessments from community delivery of FFF. Changes in Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale scores, Berg Balance Scale scores, 8-foot Timed Up and Go performance, and falls were assessed. Results: A total of 134 participants completed the measures at the first and last FFF sessions, and 109 completed a 6-month follow-up assessment. Group mean scores on the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (F1,66 = 17.14, P < .05, η2 = 0.21), Berg Balance Scale (F1,68 = 23.39, P < .05, η2 = 0.26), and 8-foot Timed Up and Go (F1,79 = 4.83, P < .05, η2 = 0.06) all improved significantly from the first to the last session. At the 6-month follow-up, fewer falls were reported (Χ2 [4, N = 239] = 10.56, P < .05, Phi = 0.21). Conclusions: These observational data suggest that the FFF group education and exercise program improves balance confidence, balance performance, and functional mobility and reduces falls in people with MS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing