Statement of purpose Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults 65 and older, and the risk of falling increases with age. The Otago Exercise Program, administered by physical therapists in patients’ homes, reduces fall risk in the highest risk age group, adults 80 and older, but wide-scale implementation is challenging in geographic areas with an inadequate number of PTs. To address this barrier, Oregon is pilot testing an alternative delivery model. These activities are integrated into the CDC-funded Oregon Senior Fall Prevention Program and in collaboration with the University of North Carolina/Carolina Geriatric Education Centre.
Methods/Approach The alternative Otago model was launched in July 2014, among a target population of 75 home meal delivery clients. Over the course of a year, a minimum of 8 home visits are conducted by personal trainers. Participant progress is reviewed weekly with the project team, which includes a physical therapist. Functional tests are conducted at program onset, 6 months and 12 months; fall-related outcomes and compliance to the exercise program are also recorded for the same intervals. Patients from a simultaneous implementation of the traditional PT-led Otago program will serve as a comparison group. The implementation assessment is ongoing.
Results Preliminary results will be assessed to compare patient outcomes between the alternative and traditional Otago models.
Conclusions Project findings will help determine whether an alternative delivery model can demonstrate equivalency with the traditional Otago program, potentially supporting wider service-delivery.
Significance and contribution to the field The success of an alternative delivery model to traditional Otago could be of national significance for reaching older adults in rural areas or areas that lack home physical therapists.
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