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Table 2 Summary of results and subgroup analyses

From: Evidence on physical activity and falls prevention for people aged 65+ years: systematic review to inform the WHO guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Analysis/ GRADE evidence certainty rating No. of participants / No. of Studies Rate Ratio
(95% CI)
I2 Test for sub-group difference
Overall effect of exercise on rate of falls versus control
 Exercise versus control/ high certainty 14,306 / 64 0.77 (0.71 to 0.83) 61% -
Subgroup analyses
a) Based on type of exercisea
 Balance, and functional exercises versus control/ high certainty 7989 / 39 0.76 (0.70 to 0.82) 31% Chi2 = 18.91, df = 6, P = 0.004, I2 = 68%
 Resistance exercises versus control/ very low certainty 327 / 5 1.14 (0.67 to 1.97) 67%
 Tai Chi exercise versus control/ moderate certainty 3196 / 9 0.77 (0.61 to 0.97) 83%
 Dance exercise versus control / very low certainty 522 / 1 1.34 (0.98 to 1.83)
 General physical activity (including walking) training versus control/ very low certainty 441 / 2 1.14 (0.66 to 1.97) 67%
 Multiple categories of exercise (often including, as primary interventions: gait, balance, and functional (task) training plus resistance training versus control/ moderate certainty 2283 / 15 0.72 (0.56 to 0.93) 65%
b) Based on fall risk at baseline
 Increased risk of falling 7872 / 32 0.76 (0.69 to 0.84) 65% Chi2 = 0.1, df = 1, P = 0.75,
I2 = 65%
 Not using increased risk of falling as entry criterion 6434 / 32 0.78 (0.68 to 0.89) 57%
c) Based on age
 Aged ≥75 years 3841 / 14 0.85 (0.73 to 1.0) 61% Chi2 = 2.29, df = 1, P = 0.13,
I2 = 56%
 Aged < 75 years 10,465 / 50 0.74 (0.68 to 0.81) 60%
d) Based on setting of the interventions delivered
 Group 8909 / 43 0.74 (0.67 to 0.83) 66% Chi2 = 1.3, df = 1, P = 0.31,
I2 = 3%
 Individual 5397 / 23 0.81 (0.72 to 0.91) 47%
e) Based on who delivered the intervention
 Health professionals (usually physiotherapists) 5099 / 28 0.73 (0.64 to 0.82) 53% Chi2 = 1.2, df = 1, P = 0.27,
I2 = 16%
 Non-health professionals (trained instructors) 9207 / 36 0.79 (0.72 to 0.88) 65%
  1. CI confidence interval
  2. aFull details on classification of type of exercise and illustrative examples shown in Additional File 2