Effect of a group-based exercise program on balance in elderly
Tatjana Bulat, Stephanie Hart-Hughes, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Quigley, Polly Palacios, Dennis C Werner, Philip Foulis
VISN 8 Patient Safety Center, James A. Haley VA Hospital, 11605 North Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33612, USA
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of 8-week group functional balance training classes on balance outcomes in community-dwelling veterans at risk for falls.
Design: Pre-test, post-test using retrospective data.
Setting: VISN 8 Patient Safety Center at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, FL, USA.
Participants: Fifty one community living veterans with mean age of 78 at risk for falls.
Intervention: Participants received a weekly 1-hour functional balance training class for 8 weeks in a small group setting (4–5 participants).
Measurements: Pre and post intervention measures included Berg Balance Scale, Limits of Stability (LOS) and modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance (mCTSIB).
Results: Eighty four percent of the participants completed 5 or more weekly classes. Peripheral neuropathy was the most common risk factor among the participants. There was a significant improvement in the Berg (p < 0.0001) and Composite Reaction Time (p < 0.0004) after the intervention.
Conclusion: An eight week group functional balance training class was safe and effective in improving balance outcomes in a cohort of elderly veterans at risk for falls.
Keywords: functional balance training, exercise
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