Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Internet provision of tailored advice on falls prevention activities for older people: a randomized controlled evaluation

By Lucy Yardley and Samuel R. Nyman


Falls are very common in older persons and can result in substantial disability and distress. By undertaking strength and balance training (SBT) exercises, older people can reduce their risk of falling. The Internet offers a potentially cost-effective means of disseminating information about SBT to older people and their carers. A particular advantage of using the Internet for this purpose is that the advice given can be 'tailored' to the needs of the individual. This study used a randomized controlled design to evaluate an interactive web-based program that tailored advice about undertaking SBT activities. The participants were 280 people with an age range of 65-97 years recruited by advertising the website by email and the Internet. Those randomized to the tailored advice were presented with advice tailored to their personal self-rated balance capabilities, health problems and activity preferences. Those in the control group were presented with all the advice from which the tailored advice was selected. After reading the advice, those in the tailored advice group (n = 144) had more positive attitudes (p < 0.01) than those in the control group (n = 136), reporting greater perceived relevance of the SBT activities, greater confidence in the ability to carry them out, and hence stronger intentions to undertake the activities. This study provides an initial indication that an interactive website might offer a cost-effective way to provide personalized advice to some older people. Further research is required to determine whether website-based advice on falls prevention changes behavior as well as intentions and whether the advice needs to be supplemented by other forms of support

Topics: BF
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. (2006a) Older people’s views of falls prevention interventions in six European countries. doi
  2. (2003). A classification tree for predicting recurrent falling in community-dwelling older persons. doi
  3. (2005). A pilot study of a web-based physical activity motivational program for adults with physical disabilities. doi
  4. (2000). A survey of world wide web use in middle-aged and older adults. doi
  5. (2006). Adults who have ever used the Internet by sex/age (Great Britain): individual Internet access.
  6. (2006). Does changing behavioral intentions engender behavior change? A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence. doi
  7. (1999). Effects of tailored, personalized and general health messages on physical activity. doi
  8. (1998). Efficacy of an individualized, motivationally-tailored physical activity intervention. doi
  9. (2005). Efficacy of sequential or simultaneous interactive computer-tailored interventions for increasing physical activity and decreasing fat intake. doi
  10. (2005). Experimenting with casebased reasoning to present educative health information on the internet: the example of Senior Gezond.
  11. (2003). Internet provision of tailored advice on falls prevention 127Health Education Board for Scotland.
  12. (2004). Interventions for the prevention of falls in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
  13. (2006). Older people’s views of advice about falls prevention: a qualitative study. doi
  14. (1999). One size does not fit all: the case for tailoring print materials. doi
  15. (2004). Preventing falls in elderly people. doi
  16. (2005). Prevention of falls and consequent injuries in elderly people. doi
  17. (1999). Tailored advice on exercise—Does it make a difference? doi
  18. (2000). Tailoring Health Messages: Customizing Communication with Computer Technology. doi
  19. (2004). What are the main risk factors for falls amongst older people and what are the most effective interventions to prevent these falls? How should interventions to prevent falls be implemented? Health Evidence Network Synthesis, World Health Organization,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.