Introduction: Prevention of falls and promotion of physical activity are essential for maximising well-being in older age. However, there is evidence that promoting physical activity among older people without providing fall prevention advice may increase fall rates. This trial aims to establish the impact of a physical activity and fall prevention programme compared with a healthy eating programme on physical activity and falls among people aged 60+ years. Methods and analysis: This cluster randomised controlled trial will involve 60 groups of community-dwelling people aged 60+ years. Participating groups will be randomised to: (1) a physical activity and fall prevention intervention (30 groups), involving written information, fall risk assessment and prevention advice, a pedometer-based physical activity tracker and telephone-based health coaching; or (2) a healthy eating intervention (30 groups) involving written information and telephone-based dietary coaching. Primary outcomes will be objectively measured physical activity at 12 months post-randomisation and self-reported falls throughout the 12-month trial period. Secondary outcomes include: the proportion of fallers, the proportion of people meeting the Australian physical activity guidelines, body mass index, eating habits, mobility goal attainment, mobility-related confidence, quality of life, fear of falling, risk-taking behaviour, mood, well-being, self-reported physical activity, disability, and health and community service use. The between-group difference in the number of falls per person-year will be analysed using negative binomial regression models. For the continuously scored primary and secondary outcome measures, linear regression adjusted for corresponding baseline scores will assess the effect of group allocation. Analyses will be preplanned, conducted while masked to group allocation, will take into account cluster randomisation, and will use an intention-to-treat approach. Ethics and dissemination: Protocol has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at The University of Sydney, Australia (number 2015/517). Results will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journal articles, international conference presentations and participants' newsletters. Trial registration number: ACTRN12615001190594.
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- prevent falls in community-dwelling people
- health coaching and pedometers
- aged 60 years and over
- cluster randomised controlled trial
- study protocol