Effect of Balance Exercise on Risk of Falls among Institutionalized Elders In Lattakia, Syria

Document Type : Research articles


Gerontological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Tishreen University-Syria


Poor balance is a major risk factor for falls. Exercise which specifically improves balance is the
most effective intervention for preventing falls. Objective: Determine the effect of balance exercise on
risk of falls among institutionalized elderly in Lattakia, Syria. Setting: The study was carried out in
the three available homes for elderly people in Lattakia, Syria. Subjects: The study subjects comprised
40 elderly persons. They were divided randomly into two equal groups: study and control. Each group
comprised 20 elders where elders in the control group were left to their routine while those in the
study group were subjected to balance exercise program for three months. Tools: Two tools were used
for data collection: 1) the Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool and 2) the sociodemographic and clinical
structure interview schedule. Results: The implemented exercise had a positive effect on risk of fall
among elders where about a quarter showed no risk of falls and about a quarter showed
improvements in their balance and gait status. Conclusion: The balance exercise succeeded in
decreasing the risk of fall among elders. This improvement was significantly affected by the previous
history of fall. Recommendations: Encourage elders to perform balance exercise in their daily routine
to maintain balance and improve gait status and consequently prevent fall.