An evidence-based program to reduce fall-related risk among older adults: a comparison of program efficacy by ethnicity Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite rapid growth among the Hispanic population in the United States, seniors within this ethnic group are typically underrepresented in evidence-based programs. The purpose of this study is to examine the relative efficacy of A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader Model (AMOB/VLL), an eight session fall risk prevention program, for non-Hispanic White and English-speaking Hispanic participants on key study outcomes. Data were collected from 1,233 seniors enrolled in AMOB/VLL in Texas. Compared to non-Hispanic White participants, a significantly larger proportion of Hispanic participants were younger (χ2=50.23, df=3, p<0.001), had less than a high school education (χ2=200.31, df=2, p<0.001), and resided in less affluent areas. From baseline to post-intervention, significant improvements in falls efficacy (t=- 9.13, df=167, p<0.001), days limited from usual activity (t=1.99, df=164, p=0.049), and unhealthy mental days (t=2.51, p=0.013) were seen among Hispanic participants. Significant improvements among nonHispanic White participants were observed for falls efficacy (t=-15.90, df=868, p<0.001). Although significant improvements were found for each ethnic group, the magnitude of improvement among Hispanic participants exceeded that of non-Hispanic Whites in some aspects. Identifying participant characteristics and positive outcomes specific to Hispanics can inform strategies to maximize program reach and effectiveness among this vulnerable and underserved population.

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, M. L., Ahn, S. N., Mier, N., Jiang, L., & Ory, M. G.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM