Browsing by Author "Dekenah, Ghabrielle Anne"
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- ItemThe development of a fall risk assessment and exercise intervention programme for geriatric subjects(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Dekenah, Ghabrielle Anne; Barnard, J. G.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Sport Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Falling is a common occurrence and one of the most serious problems in the elderly population (65 years and older). Falls account for 70% of accidental deaths in persons aged 75 years and older. Falls can be markers/indicators of poor health and declining function, and are often associated with significant morbidity. More than 90% of hip fractures occur as a result of falls, with most of these fractures occurring in persons over 70 years of age (Fuller, 2000). About one third of people aged 65 years and older fall each year, resulting in a substantial decrease in quality of life in addition to placing a huge burden on current health care systems. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 12-week exercise intervention programme, consisting of two 30 minute exercise sessions a week, could lower the risk of falling in a group of elderly women. Female subjects (n=22) with an average age of 79.5 years were selected from three retirement homes situated in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. The subjects included presented no major cardiovascular and pulmonary disease signs and symptoms as recognised by the American College of Sports Medicine (2011); had no serious illnesses or co-morbidities; were mobile with no significant musculoskeletal disorders; had no uncorrected visual or vestibular problems as well as no significant cognitive impairments or major psychological disturbances; were not taking any psychotropic medications or Benzodiazepines that could affect their progress. Subjects also had to be willing to follow the 12-week exercise intervention programme and sign an informed consent document. The selected subjects then underwent a pre- and post-intervention assessment consisting of a subjective rating of their fear of falling, the Fall Risk Assessment: Biodex Balance system, Balance Evaluations Systems Test (BESTest) and the 30-Second Chair Stand Test. Statistica 10 was used to analyse the data. Data was analysed to assess any significant improvements that the exercise intervention had on each fall risk variable tested. The main fall risk variables consisted of: fear of falling, muscular strength, balance, gait and getting up strategies. Statistically significant improvements (p<0.001) were seen in: Fear of falling, muscular strength, balance, gait and getting up strategies after the 12-week exercise intervention programme. This study suggests that exercise intervention has the potential to decrease the risk of falling among elderly women and should play an extremely important role in the prevention of falling amongst this population group.