Predicting falls within the elderly community: comparison of postural sway, reaction time, the Berg balance scale and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale for comparing fallers and non-fallers.

School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University St, Ottawa, Ont., Canada K1N6N5.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.7). 01/2004; 38(1):11-26. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-4943(03)00082-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Simple reaction time, the Berg balance scale, the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale and postural sway were studied in order to determine cut-off scores as well as develop a model used in the prevention of fallers within the elderly community. One hundred and twenty-five subjects, 45 fallers and 80 non-fallers were evaluated throughout the study and results indicated that non-fallers have significantly faster reaction times, have higher scores on the Berg balance scale and the ABC scale as well as sway at slower frequencies when compared to fallers. Furthermore, all risk factors were subsequently entered into a logistic regression analysis and results showed that reaction time, the total Berg score and the total ABC score contributed significantly to the prediction of falls with 89% sensitivity and 96% specificity. A second logistic regression was carried out with the same previous variables as well as all questions of the Berg and ABC scales. Results from the logistic analysis revealed that three variables were associated with fall status with 91% sensitivity and 97% specificity. Results from the following study would seem rather valuable as an assessment tool for health care professionals in the identification and monitoring of potential fallers within nursing homes and throughout the community.

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    ABSTRACT: Foot and ankle problems are highly prevalent fall risks in the elderly. Ankle foot orthoses designed to stabilize the foot and ankles have been studied within specific patient groups, but their efficacy with a less restrictive elderly population is unknown. This study investigated if custom-made ankle foot orthoses improve postural stability in older adults.Methods Thirty ambulatory older adults averaged 73 (standard deviation = 6.5) years completed Romberg's balance (eyes-open/eyes-closed), functional reach, and Timed Up and Go tests while wearing validated kinematic sensors. Each test was completed in standardized shoes with and without bilateral orthoses. Additionally, barefoot trials were conducted for the Romberg's and functional reach tests.FindingsCompared to the barefoot and ‘shoes alone’ conditions, the orthoses reduced center of mass sway on average by 49.0% (P = 0.087) and 40.7% (P = 0.005) during eyes-open balance trials. The reduction was amplified during the eyes-closed trials with average reductions of 65.9% (P = 0.000) and 47.8% (P = 0.004), compared to barefoot and ‘shoes alone’ conditions. The orthoses did not limit functional reach distance nor timed-up and go completion times. However, the medial-lateral postural coordination while reaching was improved significantly with orthoses compared to barefoot (14.3%; P = 0.030) and ‘shoes alone’ (13.5%; P = 0.039) conditions.InterpretationAnkle foot orthoses reduced postural sway and improved lower extremity coordination in the elderly participants without limiting their ability to perform a standard activity of daily living. Additional studies are required to determine if these benefits are retained and subsequently translate into fewer falls.
    Clinical Biomechanics 10/2014; 29(10):1081-1088. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lower extremity resistance training using elastic bands on balance in elderly people. Eight elderly persons each were randomly assigned to a test group(resistance exercise group, REG) or a control group(CG). FRT and TUG test were used to compare balance before and after exercise. Exercise programs were implemented three times a week for 40 minutes for nine weeks. They did warm-up exercise for 5 minutes and then lower extremity resistance exercise using elastic bands for 30 minutes. And then they did cool-down exercise for 5 minutes. TUG and FRT significantly decreased but in the control group it did not significantly decrease. In comparison between the groups, TUG and FRT significantly reduced in the resistance exercise group compared to the control group. Lower extremity resistance training using elastic bands performed by elderly persons are considered to be effective in improving balance.
    Journal of International Academy of Physical Therapy Research. 01/2012; 3(2).

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