Environmental and behavioral interventions for increasing physical activity and preventing falls in older adults with irreversible visual impairment struggle to demonstrate effectiveness, according to a Cochrane Systematic Review.

“There is no evidence of effect for most of the environmental or behavioral interventions studied for reducing physical activity limitation and preventing falls in visually impaired older people. The certainty of evidence is generally low due to poor methodological quality and heterogeneous outcome measurements,” concluded the study authors.

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Why It Matters

Older adults with irreversible visual impairment are at a higher risk for falling than their peers. Environmental and behavior interventions to increase physical inactivity and reduce sedentary behavior are intended to mitigate functional decline and decrease the risk of falling. This systematic review, however, suggests that many interventions are not having a positive effect, which means that allied health workers, such as occupational therapists, are being inefficiently deployed. More research is necessary to improve the design and efficiency of these interventions and, most importantly, improve the effectiveness for the patients.