Exercise classes for falls prevention: Older men’s participation and perspectives

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Hogue, Laura
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Applied Science
Otago Polytechnic
Humphrey, Richard
Forsyth, Glenys
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
older men
psychosocial factors in fall risk reduction
exercise classes
fall risk
prevention education
Hogue, L. (2021). Exercise classes for falls prevention: Older men’s participation and perspectives. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science). Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5597
RESEARCH QUESTION How can older men be better engaged in falls prevention exercise classes and programmes? ABSTRACT Exercise classes remain a common and recommended evidence-based intervention in falls prevention. Much of the literature supports the effectiveness of classes to reduce falls in community dwelling adults and adherence rates remain relatively high. However, estimations are that women outnumber men 3:1 in classes and reasons for this are not clear. Most studies in falls prevention have included only female participants and few have specifically reported on gender perspectives regarding class participation. This study aims to explore why there are fewer men than women attending exercise classes for falls prevention. The literature review in Chapter 2 highlights the gap involving older men in falls prevention research and explores how underlying beliefs and values in society, such as masculinity, can influence uptake and engagement in health services. In Chapter 3, the findings from the original study, as part of this thesis, are outlined. Firstly, that men are less likely to report falls and will try to reduce their falls risk in other ways. Secondly, the men also felt that classes are mostly aimed at women, therefore would not feel comfortable attending. The main conclusion from this thesis is that exercise classes for falls prevention do not meet the needs of older men and attendance rates for men will continue to be low compared to women. It is recommended that further research be conducted with older men to develop and explore options that do work for them to reduce the risk and rate of falls amongst the older population. This thesis adds to an emerging body of literature that falls prevention programmes need to reflect a gender perspective and approach.
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