Quasi-experimental studies or randomised controlled trials (RCT) that included fall prevention physical activity interventions in community dwelling adults aged over 60 years and examined intervention effects on physical activity behaviours, balance, strength or fall occurrence were eligible for inclusion.
Less than half of included studies recruited participants with a fall risk. Some studies targeted participants with other risk factors such as osteoporosis. The median participant age was 76 years (range 68 to 88 years). Studies mainly included mostly women. Most included studies were group based, conducted in community centres, retirement communities, indoor health centres, rehabilitation centres and clinical settings. Where reported, interventions were delivered by various staff, including volunteers, nurses, occupational or physical therapists, physicians and exercise instructors. Interventions included one or more behavioural, affective, or cognitive elements, including education, social support, motivation, self regulation and physical activity. Each intervention lasted from 15 to 120 minutes. Median number of contacts was approximately 15.5. Study duration ranged from two to 52 weeks. All included studies reported health outcomes as fall occurrence (incidence rates, incidence risk ratios, mean difference) and/or fall risk (physical function, balance, strength). One quarter of studies also reported behavioural outcomes.
The authors did not state how many reviewers were involved in the initial identification of relevant studies; however two reviewers were involved in the subsequent selection of studies for inclusion.