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Troy Tararo-Ruhe Debra L Waters Rosalina Richards




Falls are a common cause of injury in New Zealand. However, falls risk and prevalence have not been investigated in Pacific peoples. To address this knowledge gap, a literature review, falls risk screening,  and attitudes towards exercise as falls prevention questionnaires were conducted in a Pacific population in the southern regional town of Dunedin.


To identify the attitudes towards strength and balance exercise as falls prevention within Pacific Islands peoples in Dunedin, New Zealand.


Participants aged 55+ were recruited from Pacific Trust Otago, flyers, at church groups and existing exercise classes. Falls screening was assessed by the New Zealand Health Quality and Safety Commission’s Ask, Assess, Act questionnaire. Attitudes towards exercise as falls prevention intervention, was assessed using a culturally adapted version of the Attitudes to Falls-Related Intervention Scales (AFRIS). Both questionnaires were verbally administered in the participants’ native tongue.


Fifty respondents (mean age: 68.69, males: 39.58%, females: 60.42%) completed the questionnaires. Just over 56% indicated falls risk (62.07% female and 52.63% male) and 30% reported a fall in the last 12 months (31.03% females and 21.05% males). AFRIS highest mean score, was 6.69 (out of 7) for readiness to engage in strength and balance exercise to prevent falls. The lowest score (6.4) was ease of exercise participation. The total mean AFRIS score was 38.96 out of a possible 42.


Self-reported falls in the past year and risk within this population was comparable to other groups and highlights the need for falls prevention that caters to cultural needs. The positive response to adding strength and balance exercise provides supporting evidence of incorporating strength and balance exercises into existing programmes


Article Details

Original Research

How to Cite

Engaging Dunedin New Zealand Pacific People in Falls Prevention. (2018). Pacific Health Dialog, 21(2), 80-88.