Article

Outcomes after rehabilitation for adults with balance dysfunction

Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.44). 03/2004; 85(2):227-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2003.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess balance, dynamic gait, and dynamic visual acuity outcomes after a vestibular and balance rehabilitation program and to determine which variables were significantly associated with improved balance and ambulation.
Retrospective case series.
Outpatient setting at a tertiary care facility.
Twenty patients who were seen for vestibular and balance therapy between July 1999 and June 2000.
A customized exercise program was developed for each patient according to the results of the assessment and included the following interventions, as indicated: gaze stabilization, balance and gait training, and habituation exercises.
The Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Dynamic Visual Acuity Test (DVAT), and computerized post urography (Sensory Organization Test [SOT]).
The mean change scores for the DGI showed significant improvement for both patients with peripheral vestibular dysfunction and patients with central balance disorders. For the central balance disorders group, the BBS score also showed significant improvement. No difference was noted for pretherapy and posttherapy SOT scores between groups. The total group appeared to show an average improvement of more than 2 lines on the visual acuity chart on the clinical DVAT. Patients who were 66 years or older were 1.5 times more likely to score less than 20 on the DGI, and those whose pretherapy vertical dynamic visual acuity was 20/80 or worse were 1.3 times more likely to score less than 20 on the DGI.
Patients showed functional improvements in balance, visual acuity, and gait stability after balance and vestibular physical therapy. Age and pretherapy vertical dynamic visual acuity score influenced dynamic gait outcome after a balance rehabilitation program.

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