Document Type


Publication Date



Objective: Drugs increase fall risk and decrease performance on balance and mobility tests. Conversely, whether biofeedback training to reduce fall risk also decreases scores on a published drug-based fall risk index has not been documented. Forty-eight community-dwelling older adults underwent either treadmill gait training plus visual feedback (+VFB), or walked on a treadmill without feedback. The Quantitative Drug Index (QDI) was derived from each participant's drug list and is based upon all cause drug-associated fall risk. Analysis of covariance assessed changes in the QDI during the study, and data is presented as mean ± standard error of the mean. Results: The QDI scores decreased significantly (p = 0.031) for participants receiving treadmill gait training +VFB (- 0.259 ± 0.207), compared to participants who walked on the treadmill without VFB (0.463 ± 0.246). Changes in participants QDI scores were dependent in part upon their age, which was a significant covariate (p = 0.007). These preliminary results demonstrate that rehabilitation to reduce fall risk may also decrease use of drugs associated with falls. Determination of which drugs or drug classes that contribute to the reduction in QDI scores for participants receiving treadmill gait training +VFB, compared to treadmill walking only, will require a larger participant investigation. Trial Registration ISRNCT01690611, #366151-1, initial 9/24/2012, completed 4/21/2016

Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.