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01.12.2014 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2014

ICT-based system to predict and prevent falls (iStoppFalls): study protocol for an international multicenter randomized controlled trial

Zeitschrift:
BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Yves J Gschwind, Sabine Eichberg, Hannah R Marston, Andreas Ejupi, Helios de Rosario, Michael Kroll, Mario Drobics, Janneke Annegarn, Rainer Wieching, Stephen R Lord, Konstantin Aal, Kim Delbaere
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2318-14-91) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Yves J Gschwind, Sabine Eichberg contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The PPA (NeuRA FallScreen) is commercially available through Neuroscience Research Australia. The Incidental and Planned Exercise Questionnaire (IPEQ) is available as a not-for-profit iPad application through Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). The authors declare that they have no other competing interests. Funding sources are declared in the acknowledgements and did not influence the design or the implementation of the study.

Authors’ contributions

Study concept and design: all authors. Drafting of the manuscript: HRM, KD, RW, SE, YJG. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Obtained funding: KD, RW. Administrative, technical, and material support: JA. Study supervision: KD, RW, SE. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Falls are very common, especially in adults aged 65 years and older. Within the current international European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) project ‘iStoppFalls’ an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based system has been developed to regularly assess a person’s risk of falling in their own home and to deliver an individual and tailored home-based exercise and education program for fall prevention. The primary aims of iStoppFalls are to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention program, and its effectiveness to improve balance, muscle strength and quality of life in older people.

Methods/Design

This international, multicenter study is designed as a single-blinded, two-group randomized controlled trial. A total of 160 community-dwelling older people aged 65 years and older will be recruited in Germany (n = 60), Spain (n = 40), and Australia (n = 60) between November 2013 and May 2014. Participants in the intervention group will conduct a 16-week exercise program using the iStoppFalls system through their television set at home. Participants are encouraged to exercise for a total duration of 180 minutes per week. The training program consists of a variety of balance and strength exercises in the form of video games using exergame technology. Educational material about a healthy lifestyle will be provided to each participant. Final reassessments will be conducted after 16 weeks. The assessments include physical and cognitive tests as well as questionnaires assessing health, fear of falling, quality of life and psychosocial determinants. Falls will be followed up for six months by monthly falls calendars.

Discussion

We hypothesize that the regular use of this newly developed ICT-based system for fall prevention at home is feasible for older people. By using the iStoppFalls sensor-based exercise program, older people are expected to improve in balance and strength outcomes. In addition, the exercise training may have a positive impact on quality of life by reducing the risk of falls. Taken together with expected cognitive improvements, the individual approach of the iStoppFalls program may provide an effective model for fall prevention in older people who prefer to exercise at home.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Trial ID: ACTRN12614000096​651.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number: ISRCTN15932647.
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