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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Sep-Oct;55(2):446-52. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.01.009. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Effects of exercise programs on balance in older women with age-related visual problems: a pilot study.

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National Institute for Blind People, Budapest, 21 Hermina Street, H 1146 Budapest, Hungary.



This study aimed to compare the effects of two exercise programs on balance and risk of falls in older women with age-related visual dysfunction.


Participants living in a residential home were randomly allocated to Group I (n=21) receiving a progressive, tailored multimodal exercise program in addition to the standard osteoporosis exercise program or Group II (n=20) receiving the standard osteoporosis exercise program alone. At baseline, and after the 6-month exercise program outcomes were measured.


After the exercise program there was significant between-group difference in favor of the Group I in Timed Up and Go (TUG) test (p=0.001), but not in Berg Balance score (p=0.130), and Barthel Activity Index (p=0.662). In Group I the risk of falls reduced by 46%, but this result was not significant (RR=0.54, 95% CI 0.294-1.007). The mean length of event-free time was significantly longer in the Group I than in Group II (18.5 weeks, 95% CI 15.4-21.7 vs. 14.8 weeks, 95% CI 11.1-18.4; p=0.049).


If the current osteoporosis guideline is applied for older adults with low vision, it would be worthwhile putting more emphasis on the inclusion of patient-tailored strength and balance exercises to improve balance and potentially reduce the risk of falls.

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