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Effectiveness of robotics fall prevention program among elderly in senior housings, Bangkok, Thailand: a quasi-experimental study

Authors Maneeprom N, Taneepanichskul S, Panza A, Suputtitada A

Received 21 September 2018

Accepted for publication 10 January 2019

Published 18 February 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 335—346


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Natthawadee Maneeprom,1 Surasak Taneepanichskul,1 Alessio Panza,1 Areerat Suputtitada2

1College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Objective: This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of robotic fall prevention program on knowledge, exercises, balance, and incident of fall among elderly in senior housings.
Patients and methods: This is a quasi-experimental study. Sixty-four elderly in two senior housings in Bangkok with Barthel Index scale ≥12, who had either at least one fall experience in the past 12 months and/or had Timed Up and Go (TUG) test ≥20 seconds were recruited and purposively assigned to the intervention group (received a small robot-installed fall prevention software, personal coaching, and handbook, n=32) and control group (received only handbook, n=32). Outcomes were knowledge score evaluated by structured questionnaire through face-to-face interviews, number of exercises measured by self-recorded diary, and balance score assessed by TUG and Berg Balance Scale (BBS). The incident of fall was assessed by face-to-face interviews. Both groups were assessed at baseline, 3rd, and 6th month after the intervention.
Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in knowledge mean score at 6th month in both the groups. However, the intervention group showed faster increase in knowledge mean score than the control group at 3rd month (P<0.01). The intervention group showed a statistically significant higher number of exercises than the control group at 3rd and 6th month (P<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference on TUG and BBS mean scores between the two groups at baseline, 3rd, and 6th month. However, the intervention group showed a statistically significant improvement in TUG and BBS at 6th month post-intervention (P<0.01). There was one fall reported in the control group.
Conclusion: Robotic fall prevention program increased knowledge on fall prevention and promoted exercises and balance among elderly in the senior housings.

Keywords: fall prevention robot, elderly, Timed Up and Go test, Berg Balance Scale, Thailand, senior housing

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