A recent study evaluates the effectiveness of Stepping On, a national evidence-based fall-prevention program designed to help older adults take control of fall risk factors, explore different behaviors, and reduce the risk of falling.

An assessment of the system, performed by Sean Brotherson, professor at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and NDSU Extension family science specialist, and Jane Strommen, assistant professor of practice and NDSU Extension aging specialist, was published recently in the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension.

The study included 182 Stepping On participants, who took part in 21 workshops from 2013 to 2015. Older adults in the program demonstrated high satisfaction with program quality, positive knowledge results related to fall risk factors and prevention, and substantial follow-through on behavioral steps to minimize fall risk, according to a media release from North Dakota State University.

“Our study highlighted the partnership between NDSU Extension and state and local partners in efforts to use education to address a significant health concern for older adults,” Strommen says in the release. “The positive findings suggest the value of such partnership efforts in reducing risks to older adults and implementing safety strategies to help maintain independence and quality of life for seniors.”

“Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for adults over the age of 65, and may result in hip or joint injuries, head trauma, mobility challenges, fear and anxiety,” he adds.

“This study is important because it shows that the Stepping On program significantly increases knowledge of fall risk factors and how to prevent them. Also, participants become more likely to practice steps to prevent falls, which assists in reducing falls and also saves money in the health care system and the community.”

Programs designed to reduce fall risk factors and enhance the quality of life can be a critical tool to help older adults, educators, and community leaders address the issue, the researchers conclude in the release.

[Source(s): North Dakota State University, Newswise]