Otago Exercise Programme

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Otago Exercise Programme By Clare Robertson and John Campbell in association with ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand)

© 2003

eBook (PDF format)
Book 72 pages

Falls, and injury from falls, has been shown throughout the literature to have a significant impact on the quality of life in elderly patients and contribute towards costly hospitalisation in health care institutions throughout the world.

In 2008 Clare Robertson & John Campbell carried out a significant review of this large & complex body of literature. They showed the OTAGO exercise programme to be one of the most effective first line treatment strategies for elderly patients who have falls or have a significant risk of falls.

The OTAGO home exercise programme 


• The programme was designed specifically to prevent falls. It consists of a set of leg muscle strengthening and balance retraining exercises progressing in difficulty, and a walking plan.

• The exercises are individually prescribed and increase in difficulty during a series of five home visits by a trained instructor.

• Each person receives a booklet with instructions for each exercise prescribed and ankle cuff weights (starting at 1kg) to provide resistance for the strengthening exercises.

• The exercises take about 30 minutes to complete. Participants are expected to exercise three times a week and go for a walk at least twice a week.

• To help them adhere to the programme, participants record the days they complete the programme and the instructor telephones them each month between home visits. Follow-up home visits are recommended every six months
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