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The effect of flat and textured insoles on the balance of primary care elderly people: a randomized controlled clinical trial

Authors de Morais Barbosa C, Barros Bértolo M, Zonzini Gaino J, Davitt M, Sachetto Z, de Paiva Magalhães E

Received 13 August 2017

Accepted for publication 12 December 2017

Published 19 February 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 277—284

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S149038

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Cecília de Morais Barbosa,1 Manoel Barros Bértolo,2 Juliana Zonzini Gaino,2 Michael Davitt,3 Zoraida Sachetto,2 Eduardo de Paiva Magalhães3

1Department of Internal Medicine, Gerontology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas – Unicamp, Campinas, SP, Brazil; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas – Unicamp, Campinas, SP, Brazil; 3Orthoses and Prostheses Unit, Clinical Hospital, State University of Campinas – Unicamp, Campinas, SP, Brazil

Background: Aging is associated with reduced postural stability and increased fall risk. Foot orthoses have been reported as an adjuvant intervention to improve balance by stimulating foot plantar mechanical receptors and thus increasing somatosensory input.
Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of flat and textured insoles on the balance of primary care elderly people.
Design: Prospective, parallel, randomized, and single-blind trial.
Methods: A total of 100 subjects from a primary care unit, aged ≥65 years, were randomly assigned to intervention groups with flat insoles (n=33), textured insoles (n=33), or control group (n=34) without insoles. The Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go test were assessed at baseline and after 4 weeks.
Results: Improvements in the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go test were noted only in intervention groups with insoles but not in control group. No significant difference was found between flat and textured insoles. Minor adverse effects were noted only in the group with textured insoles.
Conclusion: The results suggest that foot orthoses (both flat and textured insoles) are effective in improving balance in primary care elderly people. They may represent a low-cost and high-availability adjuvant strategy to improve balance and prevent falls in this population.

Keywords: balance, elderly, orthoses, insole

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