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Exercise interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
  1. Marcia R Franco1,
  2. Leani SM Pereira2,
  3. Paulo H Ferreira3
  1. 1Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Physiotherapy Department, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  3. 3Discipline of Physiotherapy, Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Marcia R Franco, PO Box M201, Missenden Road, NSW 2050, Australia; mrcfranco{at}

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Falls among older people are an international public health issue that requires significant attention from authorities. Around a third of people aged 65 and over experience at least one fall each year.1 Falls can lead to serious consequences, such as fractures, hospital admissions, mobility-related disability, loss of confidence and reduction in community participation. Importantly, costs related to falls are dramatically increasing worldwide.2

The previous (2009) version of this Cochrane systematic review of randomised trials3 provided evidence that the rate of falls in older people can be reduced with preventive interventions, such as exercise programmes, cataract surgery and psychoactive medication withdrawal.


This updated systematic review by Gillespie et al4 aimed to assess the effects of interventions designed to prevent falls in older people living in the community. Different types of interventions were included, such as exercises, educational programmes, medication and surgery. The focus of this PEDro summary is on the trials evaluating exercise interventions compared to control interventions (ie, usual care and placebo intervention).

Searches and inclusion criteria

This review followed the methodology advocated by the Cochrane Collaboration. Electronic databases (the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL) and online trial registers were searched. Ongoing and unpublished trials were identified by contacting researchers …

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  • ▸ Gillespie LD, Robertson MC, Gillespie WJ, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012;9:CD007146.

  • Contributors MRF selected the systematic review and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MRF, LSMP and PHF contributed to interpretation of the data, revision of drafts and approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.