The Effect of Aquatic Exercise and Education on Lowering Fall Risk in Older Adults With Hip Osteoarthritis

Objective: To evaluate the effect of aquatic exercise and education on fall risk factors in older adults with hip osteoarthritis (OA).

Method: Seventy-nine adults, 65 years of age or older with hip OA and at least 1 fall risk factor, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: aquatics and education (AE; aquatic exercise twice a wk with once-a-wk group education), aquatics only (A; 2 wk aquatic exercise) and control (C; usual activity). Balance, falls ef!cacy, dual-task function, functional performance (chair stands), and walking performance were measured pre- and postintervention or control period.

Results: There was a signi!cant improvement in fall risk factors (full-factorial MANCOVA, baseline values as covariates; p = .038); AE improved in falls ef!cacy compared with C and in functional performance compared with A and C.

Conclusion: The combination of aquatic exercise and education was effective in improving fall risk factors in older adults with arthritis.

Keywords: hydrotherapy, accidental falls, arthritis, pain, self-efficacy

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