Feasibility Study of a Digital Health Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults. JMIR formative research Jacobson, C., Foster, L., Arul, H., Rees, A., Stafford, R. S. 2021


BACKGROUND: About one in three adults age 65 and older falls annually. Exercise interventions are effective in reducing fall risk and fall rate among older adults. In 2020, startup company Age Bold Inc. disseminated the Bold Fall Prevention Program, aiming to reduce falls among older adults through a remotely-delivered, digital exercise program.OBJECTIVE: We conducted a feasibility study to assess the delivery of Bold's Fall Prevention Program remotely and evaluate the program's impact on two primary outcomes-annualized fall rate and weekly minutes of physical activity-over six months of follow-up.METHODS: Older adults at high risk of falling were screened and recruited for the feasibility study via nationwide digital advertising strategies. Self-reported outcomes were collected via surveys administered at the time of enrollment and after three and six months. Responses were used to calculate changes in annualized fall rate and minutes of physical activity per week.RESULTS: The remote delivery of a progressive digital fall prevention program and associated research study, including remote recruitment, enrollment, and data collection, was deemed feasible. Participants successfully engaged at-home with on-demand video video exercise classes, self-assessments, and online surveys. We enrolled 65 participants, of whom 73.8% were women, and the average participant age was 72.6 years. 54 (83%) took at least one exercise class, 40 (61.5%) responded to at least one follow-up survey at either 3- or 6-months, 20 (30.8%) responded to both follow-up surveys, and 25 (38.5%) were lost to follow-up. Among all participants who completed at least one follow-up survey, weekly minutes of physical activity increased by 182% (ratio change=2.82; 95% CI, 1.26-6.37; N=35) from baseline and annualized falls per year decreased by 46% [incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.54; 95% CI, 0.32-0.90; N=40]. . Among only 6-month survey responders (N=31), weekly minutes of physical activity increased by 206% (ratio change=3.06; 95% CI, 1.43-6.55) from baseline to 6-months (N=30) and annualized fall rate decreased by 28% (IRR=0.72; 95% CI, 0.42-1.23) from baseline to 6-months.CONCLUSIONS: The Bold Fall Prevention Program provides a feasible strategy to increase physical activity and reduce the burden of falls among older adults.

View details for DOI 10.2196/30558

View details for PubMedID 34837492