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Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2019

Original Article JFSF, Vol 4, No 3, September 2019, p.65-70
Beyond balance and mobility, contributions of cognitive function to falls in older adults with cardiovascular disease
Jennifer Blackwood, Shweta Gore
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, Cognition, Recall, Falls, Mobility
Objectives: Older adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at risk for cognitive impairment. Cognitive function is associated with falls in older adults however it is unknown if a relationship exists between cognitive function and falls in CVD. The aim of this study was to examine the contributions of cognitive function on falls in older adults with CVD. Methods: A secondary analysis was performed on data from the Health and Retirement Study cohort 2010 (N=3413) of older adults with CVD. Group assignment was based on falls history (yes/no) within the two years prior to the survey. Demographic (age, education, gender, marital status), physical (strength, balance, physical activity, and mobility) and cognitive (immediate and delayed recall, orientation, semantic verbal fluency, numeracy) information was extracted to characterize the sample. Comparisons between groups were completed for all of these variables. Logistic regression was performed to examine associations between each of the cognitive variables and falls while controlling for age, gender, marital status, education, and BMI. Results: Demographic (age, gender, marital status, and education), physical (grip strength, tandem stance time, and gait speed), and cognitive (orientation, immediate and delayed recall) variables differed by falls history (p<0.05). After controlling for confounding, immediate recall was the only significant predictor of falls (OR=1.09, 95% CI=1.01-1.17) (Nagelkerke R2=0.037, χ2=35.14, p<0.05) with correctly classifying 65.9% of cases. Conclusions: In older adults with CVD, cognitive and physical functions are more impaired in those with a falls history. Screening for cognitive function, specifically immediate recall, should be a part of the management of falls in this population.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 4, No 3, September 2019, p.71-77
Current practice in the diagnosis and management of sarcopenia and frailty – results from a UK-wide survey
Natalie J. Offord, Andrew Clegg, Gill Turner, Richard M. Dodds, Avan A. Sayer, Miles D. Witham
Keywords: Sarcopenia, Frailty, Survey, Questionnaire, Older people
Objectives: Despite a rising clinical and research profile, there is limited information about how frailty and sarcopenia are diagnosed and managed in clinical practice. Our objective was to build a picture of current practice by conducting a survey of UK healthcare professionals. Methods: We surveyed healthcare professionals in NHS organisations, using a series of four questionnaires. These focussed on the diagnosis and management of sarcopenia, and the diagnosis and management of frailty in acute medical units, community settings and surgical units. Results: Response rates ranged from 49/177 (28%) organisations for the sarcopenia questionnaire to 104/177 (59%) for the surgical unit questionnaire. Less than half of responding organisations identified sarcopenia; few made the diagnosis using a recognised algorithm or offered resistance training. The commonest tools used to identify frailty were the Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale or presence of a frailty syndrome. Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment was offered by the majority of organisations, but this included exercise therapy in less than half of cases, and medication review in only one-third to two-thirds of cases. Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve consistency of diagnosis and delivery of evidence-based interventions for both sarcopenia and frailty.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 4, No 3, September 2019, p.78-90
The Footfall Programme: participant experiences of a lower limb, foot and ankle exercise intervention for falls prevention - an exploratory study
Monserrat Conde, Gordon Hendry, Dawn A. Skelton
Keywords: Exercise, Falls, Feet, Feasibility, Older adults
Objectives: Despite growing evidence that foot and ankle exercise programmes are effective for falls prevention, little is known about older adults’ views and preferences of programme components for long-term maintenance. The aims of this study were to explore the experiences and acceptability of Scottish and Portuguese older adults of undertaking a home-based foot, ankle and lower limb exercise intervention. Methods: Ten Scottish (mean age 76 years, 7 female) and fourteen Portuguese (mean age 66 years, 12 female) community-dwelling older adults undertook the programme for one week, followed by focus group discussions (2-6 people per group), guided by a semi-structured interview guide. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Seven themes were identified: Assessment, Group exercise taster, Home based exercise; Footfall programme kit, Midweek phone call, Reasons for participation and the Research Process. Programme components, support telephone calls and research procedures were generally well accepted by participants and they valued having a contribution to the design. They preferred a blended home and intermittent groupbased programme format for motivation and progression and recommended changes to some of the exercises and equipment to reduce barriers to participation. Some cultural differences emerged, including importance of the functional assessments for Portuguese participants, time issues and difficulty in completion of the exercise diary, reflecting lower literacy levels. Conclusions: Participants found the programme acceptable but preferred a blended home and occasional group-based programme for adherence and motivation. A strong educational component to improve health literacy and simple paperwork completion to avoid data loss in future studies with Portuguese older adults is important.