205066 Characteristics and benefits for older women in an evidence-based falls prevention program

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:10 PM

Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Angie Wade, MPH , Active for Life Learning Network, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Chelsea Mounce, MPH (c) , Texas Healthy Lifestyles Data Coordinator, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Ross Larsen, MA , Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Health promotion programs disproportionately serve women, and this is especially so for older women who comprise the majority of the aging population. Older women are vulnerable to falls and their negative consequences. The purpose of this study is to identify personal characteristics of female participants enrolled in A Matter of Balance (AMOB) and associated outcomes related to falls-related self-efficacy and days of good physical health. Data were collected from seniors enrolled in AMOB sessions conducted in Texas between September 2007 and January 2009. Pre- and post-test data of 474 female participants were drawn from a larger statewide dataset. In these analyses, 60.5% of older females were Caucasian, 49.4% were age 79 years or older, 91.8% resided in metropolitan areas, 27.4% did not graduate high school, 59.3% lived alone, and on average reported 5.1 unhealthy days/month at baseline. Preliminary results indicate that women who attended AMOB reported a significant increase in falls-related self-efficacy (t(473) = -13.676, p < .001) and reported a significant increase in the number of days their physical health was good (t(473) = 2.590, p < .001). Findings from this study support the effectiveness of evidence-based programs for reducing falls-related risks in seniors. Identifying the characteristics of female participants enrolled in AMOB can enable health professionals to better target and meet the health demands of the aging population. Improving participant self-efficacy and physical health has implications to promote optimal health and function among older women and protect them from injury and disability.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify personal characteristics of older female participants enrolled in A Matter of Balance sessions 2. Describe the importance of evidence-based programs for older women in improving health outcomes 3. Assess the effectiveness of A Matter of Balance for old female participants

Keywords: Aging, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been active in aging research and am working on a grant to conduct a nation-wide evaluation of evidence-based programs for seniors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.