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Title: Evaluation of a shortened PSI intervention and establishing the suitability of PNF for inclusion in exercise-based falls prevention intervention
Author: Higgs, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 7354
Awarding Body: Aberystwyth University
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 2014
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Falling increases with age. Increasing falls incidence and associated injuries sustained by the growing older adult population contributes towards an increasing strain placed on local health services. Long-term exercise interventions have elicited signi cant reductions in falls incidence in community-dwelling older adults, and may be used in a preventative manner to reduce fall incidence in older adult populations. However, the e ectiveness of shorter interventions is less well-known. Study One of this thesis identi ed that an 18-week postural stability instruction (PSI) programme is e ective in reducing fall prevalence in frail older adults by 33%, and may improve health-related quality of life, con dence, and clinic-based strength and balance measures. However, gait performance and whole body lean mass remain unchanged. Study Two established that proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching does not cause acute de cits in strength or muscle activation in the plantar exors and is safe for use by healthy older adults as a exibility training component of PSI interventions. Study Three found chronic strength and exibility gains following completion of a 4-week PNF stretching intervention at the ankle in old and young adults, without any acute strength de cits. Chronic strength gains during higher velocity contractions were demonstrated in dorsi exion in the older group, while exibility gains demonstrated during knee exion suggests a training e ect on the soleus muscle. These ndings indicate that and 18-week PSI programme reduces falls risk and prevalence, and that PNF training at the ankle may be used safely and e ectively by healthy older adults to improve strength and exibility. Re nement of individual PSI components to ensure implementation of the most e ective and age-appropriate strength, balance and exibility training methods is warranted. Speci cally there is a need for research to examine changes in falls incidence and risk factors following completion of an 18-week PSI intervention that incorporates PNF stretching.
Supervisor: Hudson, Joanne ; Winter, Samantha Lee Sponsor: Aberystwyth University Departmental Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available