Older women in a state-wide, evidence-based falls prevention program: who enrolls and what benefits are obtained? Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Older women who are vulnerable to falls and their negative consequences have been shown, in controlled randomized clinical trials, to benefit from fall prevention programs. The purpose of this study was to identify personal characteristics of female participants enrolled in a falls prevention program, the effectiveness of the program for female participants, and whether personal characteristics indicate which women might benefit most from programs delivered in real-world settings. METHODS: Data were collected from seniors enrolled in A Matter of Balance/Voluntary Lay Leader (AMOB/VLL) program sessions conducted in Texas over the 2-year period from 2007 to 2009. Baseline and postintervention data from 1,101 female participants were drawn from a larger, state-wide dataset and analyzed using structural equation modeling to identify relationships between variables of interest. FINDINGS: Analyses revealed that women who attended AMOB/VLL significantly increased falls efficacy from baseline to postintervention (t = 1.680; p < .05; d = 0.143) and reduced the number of times fallen (t = 3.790; p < .01; d = 0.313). Further, participants reported decreases in days of physical (t = 3.810; p < .01; d = 0.323) and mental health (t = 1.850; p < .05; d = 0.156) reported as not good. CONCLUSION: Findings from this study support the effectiveness of evidence-based programs for reducing falls-related risks in older women. Identifying the characteristics of female participants enrolled in AMOB/VLL can enable public health professionals to better target and meet the health demands of the aging female population. Such translational research can help to guide the dissemination of additional state-wide health promotion programs for older women.

published proceedings

  • Womens Health Issues

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, M. L., Ory, M. G., & Larsen, R.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Matthew Lee||Ory, Marcia G||Larsen, Ross

publication date

  • November 2010