Older citizen community dance programme proved effective at fall prevention

Dance to Health, a community dance programme for older people, has published its phase one evaluation report on the programme’s effectiveness on addressing prevention of falls. The report, produced by Sheffield Hallam University Sports Industry Research Centre, found there was a 58% reduction in the number of falls experienced by participants in the previous 12 months.

The report also found positive improvements in participants' physical and mental wellbeing, including:

  • improved Timed Up and Go (TUG) times (an average reduction in time of 20%)
  • a reduced fear of falling (over 10% improvement in the percentage of individuals classed as ‘low concern’), and
  • a small improvement in Patient Activation Measure (PAM) scores (an increase of over one point, from a score of 71.1 to a follow-up average score of 72.3)

Using data from NHS England as a representative group, the report identified a potential cost saving of more than £196m over a two-year period if those deemed at risk of a fall within the 65 and over group were to take place in falls prevention programmes. Of this saving, £158m could be attributed to the NHS.

Dance to Health was devised and is managed by social enterprise and charity Aesop.

Read the full report here.