Exercise to enhance mobility and prevent falls after stroke: The community stroke club randomized trial

Catherine M. Dean, Chris Rissel, Catherine Sherrington, Michelle Sharkey, Robert G. Cumming, Stephen R. Lord, Ruth N. Barker, Catherine Kirkham, Sandra O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Exercise interventions can enhance mobility after stroke as well as prevent falls in elderly persons. Objective. Investigate whether an exercise intervention can enhance mobility, prevent falls, and increase physical activity among community-dwelling people after stroke. Method. A randomized trial with blinding of physical outcome assessment was conducted through local stroke clubs. Both groups, on average 5.9 years poststroke, received exercise classes, advice, and a home program for 12 months. The experimental group (EG) program (n = 76) aimed to improve walking, prevent falls and increase physical activity. The control group (CG) program (n = 75) aimed to improve upper-limb and cognitive functions. The primary outcomes were walking capacity, walking speed measured before and after the intervention, and fall rates monitored monthly. Results. At 12 months, the EG walked 34 m further in 6 minutes (95% confidence interval [CI] = 19-50; P <.001) and 0.07 m/s faster over 10 m (95% CI = 0.01-0.14; P =.03) than the CG. The EG had 129 falls, and the CG had 133. There were no differences in proportion of fallers (relative risk = 1.22; 95% CI = 0.91-1.62; P =.19) or the rate of falls between groups (incidence rate ratio = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.59-1.51; P =.88). Conclusion. The experimental intervention delivered through stroke clubs enhanced aspects of mobility but had no effect on falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1057
Number of pages12
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • accidental falls
  • clinical trial
  • exercise
  • mobility limitation
  • stroke


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