CBT doesn’t reduce fear of falling after hip surgery more than usual care

A recently released study by the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine shows that a “cognitive intervention for fear of falling gets the same results as ‘usual’ care”.  This study, conducted on patients who had recently had hip fractures, shows that fear of falling was not just an emotional state that can be reduce by behavioral therapy.

We are not surprised by this.  Nymbl’s premise is that fear of falling is reduced by actual balance improvement, and the best way to improve balance is through dual-tasking cognitive and physical exercises.  CBT is good at treating perceived fears, but fears derived from a real physical deficit require real change at the impairment level, not just the belief level. When a patient can noticeably detect that their balance has improved, the fear of falling is reduced because they feel more stable.

For more research about balance, dual-tasking and falls, please see our balance research ebook. See the full JAMDA study here.