Minimizing fall-related injuries in at-risk older adults: The falling safely training (FAST) study protocol

Tobia Zanotto, Lingjun Chen, James Fang, Shelley B. Bhattacharya, Neil B. Alexander, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury among the elderly. Fall prevention is currently the main strategy to minimize fall-related injuries in at-risk older adults. However, the success of fall prevention programs in preventing accidental injury in elderly populations is inconsistent. An alternative novel approach to directly target fall-related injuries is teaching older adults movement patterns which reduce injury risk. The purpose of the current study will be to explore the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of teaching at-risk older adults safe-falling strategies to minimize the risk of injury. Methods/design: The Falling Safely Training (FAST) study will be a prospective, single-blinded randomized controlled trial. A total of 28 participants will be randomly assigned to four weeks of FAST or to an active control group with a 1:1 allocation. People aged ≥65 years, at-risk of injurious falls, and with normal hip bone density will be eligible. The FAST program will consist of a standardized progressive training of safe-falling movement strategies. The control group will consist of evidence-based balance training (modified Otago exercise program). Participants will undergo a series of experimentally induced falls in a laboratory setting at baseline, after the 4-week intervention, and three months after the intervention. Data on head and hip movement during the falls will be collected through motion capture. Discussion: The current study will provide data on the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of safe-falling training as a strategy to reduce fall impact and head motion, and potentially to reduce hip and head injuries in at-risk populations. Registration: The FAST study is registered at (NCT05260034).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101133
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Accident prevention
  • Accidental injury
  • Aging
  • Elderly
  • Falls
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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