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Clin Rehabil. 2013 Mar;27(3):195-206. doi: 10.1177/0269215512450295. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Improving balance control and self-reported lower extremity function in community-dwelling older adults: a randomized control trial.

Author information

1
NeuroMuscular Research Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effect of a group-based functional and specific balance training programme that included dual-task exercises on balance function in healthy older adults.

DESIGN:

A single-blind randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

General community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-six community-dwelling older adults (age 77.0 ± 6.5 years), without functional balance impairment were recruited and allocated at random to an intervention group (n = 33) or a reference group (n = 33).

INTERVENTION:

The intervention group received 24 training sessions over three months that included perturbation as well as dual-task exercises. The reference group received no intervention.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The voluntary step execution times during single- and dual-task conditions, stabilogram-diffusion analysis in upright standing, and self-reported physical function; all were measured assessed at baseline and at the end of intervention. The intervention group was retested after six months.

RESULTS:

Compared with the reference group, participation in group-based functional and specific balance training led to faster voluntary step execution times under single-task (P = 0.02; effect size (ES) = 0.34) and dual-task (P = 0.036; ES = 0.55) conditions; lower transition displacement and shorter transition time of the stabilogram-diffusion analysis under eyes-closed conditions (P = 0.007, ES = 0.30 and P = 0.08, ES = 0.44, respectively); and improved self-reported lower extremity function (P = 0.006, ES = 0.37). Effects were lost at six-month follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS:

Functional and specific balance training can improve voluntary stepping and balance control in healthy older non-fallers, parameters previously found to be related to increased risk of falls and injury in older adults.

PMID:
22837541
DOI:
10.1177/0269215512450295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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