Whole body vibration for older persons: An open randomized, multicentre, parallel, clinical trial

Physiotherapy Research Group (GReFis), Blanquerna School of Health Science (Universitat Ramon Llull), Barcelona, Spain.
BMC Geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.68). 12/2011; 11(1):89. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-11-89
Source: PubMed


Institutionalized older persons have a poor functional capacity. Including physical exercise in their routine activities decreases their frailty and improves their quality of life. Whole-body vibration (WBV) training is a type of exercise that seems beneficial in frail older persons to improve their functional mobility, but the evidence is inconclusive. This trial will compare the results of exercise with WBV and exercise without WBV in improving body balance, muscle performance and fall prevention in institutionalized older persons.
An open, multicentre and parallel randomized clinical trial with blinded assessment. 160 nursing home residents aged over 65 years and of both sexes will be identified to participate in the study. Participants will be centrally randomised and allocated to interventions (vibration or exercise group) by telephone. The vibration group will perform static/dynamic exercises (balance and resistance training) on a vibratory platform (Frequency: 30-35 Hz; Amplitude: 2-4 mm) over a six-week training period (3 sessions/week). The exercise group will perform the same exercise protocol but without a vibration stimuli platform. The primary outcome measure is the static/dynamic body balance. Secondary outcomes are muscle strength and, number of new falls. Follow-up measurements will be collected at 6 weeks and at 6 months after randomization. Efficacy will be analysed on an intention-to-treat (ITT) basis and 'per protocol'. The effects of the intervention will be evaluated using the "t" test, Mann-Witney test, or Chi-square test, depending on the type of outcome. The final analysis will be performed 6 weeks and 6 months after randomization.
This study will help to clarify whether WBV training improves body balance, gait mobility and muscle strength in frail older persons living in nursing homes. As far as we know, this will be the first study to evaluate the efficacy of WBV for the prevention of falls.
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01375790.

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    • "Significant health improvements are associated with multicomponent exercise training programs in older-adult samples, including the prevention of bone fractures and osteoporosis [22,25,26]. Likewise, WBV is associated with improvements in strength, power, and balance in body composition [27-29] - including in obese women [30]. Findings also demonstrate that occupational exposure to WBV is associated with favorable alterations in mood state that are directly proportional to exposure time [31]. "
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