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PeerJ. 2018 Jan 12;6:e4244. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4244. eCollection 2018.

Effects of the visual-feedback-based force platform training with functional electric stimulation on the balance and prevention of falls in older adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Geriatrics, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Geriatrics, Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Background:

Force platform training with functional electric stimulation aimed at improving balance may be effective in fall prevention for older adults. Aim of the study is to evaluate the effects of the visual-feedback-based force platform balance training with functional electric stimulation on balance and fall prevention in older adults.

Methods:

A single-centre, unblinded, randomized controlled trial was conducted. One hundred and twenty older adults were randomly allocated to two groups: the control group (n = 60, one-leg standing balance exercise, 12 min/d) or the intervention group (n = 60, force platform training with functional electric stimulation, 12 min/d). The training was provided 15 days a month for 3 months by physical therapists. Medial-lateral and anterior-posterior maximal range of sway with eyes open and closed, the Berg Balance Scale, the Barthel Index, the Falls Efficacy scale-International were assessed at baseline and after the 3-month intervention. A fall diary was kept by each participant during the 6-month follow-up.

Results:

On comparing the two groups, the intervention group showed significantly decreased (p < 0.01) medial-lateral and anterior-posterior maximal range of sway with eyes open and closed. There was significantly higher improvement in the Berg Balance Scale (p < 0.05), the Barthel Index (p < 0.05) and the Falls Efficacy Scale-International (p < 0.05), along with significantly lesser number of injurious fallers (p < 0.05), number of fallers (p < 0.05), and fall rates (p < 0.05) during the 6-month follow-up in the intervention group.

Conclusion:

This study showed that the visual feedback-based force platform training with functional electric stimulation improved balance and prevented falls in older adults.

KEYWORDS:

Biofeedback; Elderly people; Quality of life; Rehabilitation

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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