Impact of an Evidence-Based Fall Prevention Program relayed by Physical Therapy Students on the Older Adult Population of Tarrant County




Severance, Jennifer
Lopez, Gladys
Bartha, Christina


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Introduction: A Matter of Balance (AMOB)/Volunteer Lay Leader (VLL) Model is an evidence-based fall prevention program for older adults. Each class consists of eight two-hour sessions designed to increase confidence in fall management and physical activity. Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County (SCSTC) hosts the program across Tarrant County and has partnered with the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) to train physical therapy students as lay leaders. This study uses pre- and post-survey data from older adult AMOB participants to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of this partnership during the 2016 year as a part of continuous quality improvement. Methods: SCSTC collected data from program graduates using pre- and post-program evaluation surveys distributed at the beginning and end of each class. Surveys included the Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) to measure confidence in fall management. Class attendance logs provided information about class frequency, location and zip codes. Results: Ten classes were held at eight senior centers and one senior housing community. 24 zip codes were served. 106 of 136 participants (78%) completed the program. The majority of graduates were between the ages of 65 and 74 (51%), female (85%), and Black or African-American (61%). 58 graduates listed their primary language as English, 2 listed Spanish, and 1 listed Filipino. The average number of classes attended by graduates was 7. Graduates averaged a higher FES score (3.22) than all of the enrollees (3.13) at the end of the program. Conclusions: The averages FES scores for both enrollees and graduates increased, indicating that participants reported a greater level of confidence in managing falls. This finding confirms the efficacy of the VLL model of the AMOB program. The majority of graduates were women, African-American, and between the ages of 65 and 74. SCSTC’s partnership with UNTHSC students was effective in delivering the AMOB/VLL program to older adults in Tarrant County.