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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Apr;91(4):576-83. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2009.12.018.

Effect of a 12-week yoga intervention on fear of falling and balance in older adults: a pilot study.

Author information

  • 1Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development, Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice, and the Health Services Research and Development Stroke Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. Arlene.schmid@va.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether fear of falling (FoF) and balance improved after a 12-week yoga intervention among older adults.

DESIGN:

A 12-week yoga intervention single-armed pilot study.

SETTING:

A retirement community in a medium-sized university town in the Midwest.

PARTICIPANTS:

A convenience sample of adults (N=14) over the age of 65 years who all endorsed an FoF.

INTERVENTION:

Each participant took part in a biweekly 12-week yoga intervention. The yoga sessions included both physical postures and breathing exercises. Postures were completed in sitting and standing positions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We measured FoF with the Illinois FoF Measure and balance with the Berg Balance Scale. Upper- and lower-body flexibility were measured with the back scratch test and chair sit and reach test, respectively.

RESULTS:

FoF decreased by 6%, static balance increased by 4% (P=.045), and lower-body flexibility increased by 34%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results indicate that yoga may be a promising intervention to manage FoF and improve balance, thereby reducing fall risk for older adults. Rehabilitation therapists may wish to explore yoga as a modality for balance and falls programming; however, future research is needed to confirm the use of yoga in such programming.

Copyright 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20382290
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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