Free From Falls education and exercise program for reducing falls in people with multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled trial

Michelle Cameron, Andrea Hildebrand, Cinda L. Hugos, Grace I. Judd, Garnett McMillan, Peter Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: People with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) fall frequently. Community-delivered exercise and education reduce falls in older adults, but their efficacy in multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown. Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the Free From Falls (FFF) group education and exercise program on falls in PwMS. Methods: This was a prospective, assessor-blinded, two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial. Ninety-six participants were randomized to FFF (eight weekly 2 hour sessions) or the control condition (a fall prevention brochure and informing their neurologist of their fall history). Participants counted falls prospectively from enrollment through 6 months following intervention. Effects on fall frequency were evaluated by the Bayesian analysis. Results: The modeled mean fall frequency pre-intervention was 1.2 falls/month in the FFF group (95% credible intervals (CIs) = 0.8–2.0) and 1.4 falls/month in the control group (95% CI = 0.9–2.1). Fall frequency decreased by 0.6 falls/month in both groups over time (nadir 4–6 months post-intervention: FFF 0.6 falls/month (95% CI = 0.4–0.9); control 0.8 falls/month (95% CI = 0.5–1.1)). Conclusion: In-person group exercise and education are not superior to written education and neurologist-initiated interventions for preventing falls in PwMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • accidental falls
  • education
  • exercise
  • fall prevention
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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