Expired Study
This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants on ClinicalConnection.com. If you would like to find active studies please search for clinical trials.

Baltimore, Maryland 21201


Falls are dangerous leading to injuries and even death. The VA has made fall prevention a priority, but effective programs only reduce falls by 30%. Tai Chi, a standing exercise program, has been effective at improving balance but may not prevent falls. Most falls occur during walking when an individual experiences a slip or a trip. Programs that focus on walking, stepping, and recovery from a slip may be more effective at fall reduction. This study will compare Tai Chi to a novel multimodal balance intervention (MMBI). MMBI focuses on standing balance, walking, stepping, strength training, and recovery from a slip. The Investigators believe that the MMBI program will be more effective than Tai Chi at improving balance and preventing falls in older Veterans and the Investigators will use the results of this study to develop a larger study on fall prevention in older Veterans.

Study summary:

Background: Falls are currently the leading cause of injurious death and non-fatal injuries for adults over the age of 65. Older Veterans may be at greater risk for falls due to their high burden of medical co-morbidity. The VA has made research into fall prevention a high priority. Falls are complex with numerous deficits including impaired balance, decreased postural control, muscle weakness, and an inability to successfully negotiate environmental hazards. Tai Chi is currently considered to be one of the most effective fall prevention exercise interventions, with an endorsement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which widely influences health care policy. However, there are few studies comparing Tai Chi with another active intervention. Tai Chi may generally improve balance, decrease fall risk, and provides a general lower body strengthening. However, Tai Chi may not sufficiently improve gait and dynamic mobility and does little to target obstacle negotiation, one of the largest contributors to a fall. The majority of falls occur during walking, with slips and trips being the most common causes and targeted interventions focused on improving stepping and walking ability may be even more effective at improving balance and reducing falls. The Investigators plan to enroll 56 older (age > 65 years) community dwelling Veterans with a history of a fall in the last year who are at high risk for a recurrent fall. After baseline testing participants will be randomized to either MMBI or a Tai Chi intervention modeled after the Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance Program. All participants will participate in a group exercise class in their assigned intervention for 1 hour, 3 times per week for 24 weeks. After the completion of 24 weeks of exercise group changes will be compared for 1) balance (4-square step test), 2) mobility and fall risk (functional gait assessment, clinical gait assessment and gait variability on a GAITrite), 4) questionnaires (falls efficacy and ABC) 5) lower extremity isometric strength testing (biodex), 6) a whole body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and CT scan of the abdomen, hips and thighs for determination of lower extremity and core muscle composition. The investigators also plan for follow all participants for 6 months after completion of the intervention to examine differences in fall rates after the cessation of the program between the groups. Impact: This research directly benefits Veterans as it may lead to new and effective interventions that could reduce fall risk, injury-related hospitalization and death in older Veterans. MMBI is also readily exportable to the community and with minimal resources could be widely implemented at other VAs as part of standard of care, similar to MOVE!. Results from this SPIRE grant will be used to power a larger randomized clinical trial that will examine the effectiveness of the two interventions to reduce rate of falls and risk of falling in older Veterans at high risk for falls.


Inclusion Criteria: - 65 years of age and older - Mobility and balance limitations as demonstrated by a self-reported fall within the past year or requiring greater than 8 seconds to complete the 4-square step test Exclusion Criteria: - Cardiovascular Risks: Poorly controlled hypertension (>160/100); Class III or IV congestive heart failure (CHF); or patient report of: symptomatic angina at rest or during exercise, syncope without known resolution of cause, or a significant coronary event (such as a MI) in the past six months - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requiring home oxygen - Contraindications to resistance training, including a self-reported history of intracranial or retinal bleeding in the last year or Diabetes with active proliferative retinopathy - Patient report of significant spinal stenosis that would limit participation in the exercise intervention -Dementia (on medical record review or mini-mental status exam score <24). - Non-ambulatory mobility status or a transtibial or transfemoral amputation - Other severe medical illness or condition that would preclude safe participation in the study as determined by the study team



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Leslie Ira Katzel, MD PhD
Baltimore VA Medical Center VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, MD

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Baltimore, Maryland 21201
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: June 25, 2018

Modifications to this listing: Only selected fields are shown, please use the link below to view all information about this clinical trial.

Click to view Full Listing

This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants on ClinicalConnection.com. The form below is not enabled.