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  • APTA to Submit Feedback on USPSTF Draft Falls Prevention Recommendations

    The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued draft recommendations for falls prevention in community-dwelling adults age 65 or older, and APTA will issue formal comments after receiving feedback from member experts from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

    APTA members are encouraged to submit their own comments as well.

    Based on an evidence review, USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that both group and supervised individual exercise can reduce risk for falls. Regular exercise should include aerobic and strengthening activities, as well as balance and gait training.

    The task force found only a small net benefit to routinely providing a multidisciplinary assessment and a customized “multifactorial” combination of interventions, such as exercise, psychological interventions, and physical therapy, among others; however, authors acknowledge that, for certain older patients with a history of falls and comorbid conditions, an “in-depth multifactorial risk assessment with comprehensive management” may be appropriate. Authors also write that vitamin D supplementation has no benefit in falls prevention.

    Want more on falls prevention? Check out the falls-related resources at PTNow, including a unilateral vestibular hypofunction clinical summary, a summary on falls risk in community-dwelling elders, an osteoporosis clinical summary, and tests and measures such as a fracture risk assessment, a clinical test of sensory interaction and balance, and a self-paced walk test. APTA also offers resources at its Balance and Falls webpage.