Home-based disability prevention programme boosts life-space, falls efficacy in seniors
A home-based, multicomponent disability prevention programme is helpful for improving life-space and falls efficacy among elderly adults, a recent study has found.
Life-space, a measure of mobility defined by the distance a person routinely covers over a specified time period, was assessed in 194 elderly adults using the Homebound Mobility Assessment. Falls efficacy, on the other hand, was evaluated in 233 participants using the 10-item Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale and refers to the perceived confidence for avoiding falls during essential daily activities.
Both outcomes were measured before and after the disability prevention programme, which included up to six 1-hour home visits from an occupational therapist (OT), and up to four 1-hour visits from a nurse. In addition, they were allowed home repairs and installations of assistive devices, all according to OT recommendations.
After 5 months, the researchers observed significant improvements in life-space across various home areas, such as the stairs (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.09, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.34–12.48) and the bathroom (adjusted OR, 3.95, 95 percent CI, 1.20–12.97).
Similarly, life-space improvements were found for leaving the house for any reason other than healthcare (adjusted OR, 2.40, 95 percent CI, 1.01–5.73), as well as for the overall life-space score (adjusted OR, 2.15, 95 percent CI, 1.10–4.19).
The intervention also led to a significant improvement in total falls efficacy (adjusted OR, 1.12, 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.21). Those who saw improvements in their life-space also showed the greatest increase in falls efficacy.