Postural control while dressing on two surfaces in the elderly

Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Age (Impact Factor: 3.45). 06/2011; 33(2):187-96. DOI: 10.1007/s11357-010-9168-2
Source: PubMed


Falling is a worldwide problem faced by the elderly, and it has serious consequences. The elderly falls in the bathroom very often, and this raises the concern of the connection between the high incidence of falls in the bathroom and postural control of putting on shorts. Because little is known about postural control while putting on shorts of any age group, this study investigated the effects of age and surface on postural control while putting on shorts. Healthy young adults (n =15; age range: 21-27 years) and the elderly participants (n = 15; age range: 63-78 years) were compared in the temporal-spatial parameters, movement of center of mass (COM), and its interactions with center of pressure (COP) and kinematic measures under two conditions: anti-slipping mat and tile. The results demonstrated that the elderly had lengthened cycle time, decreased single-limb-support ratio, decreased medial-lateral velocity of COM, decreased relative displacement between COM and COP, decreased hip abduction-adduction angle, knee flexion angle, and the height of foot elevation. The elderly demonstrated a conservative strategy that may reduce the mechanical load on the supporting limb but preserve medial-lateral balance during the task. The adopted strategy may be relevant to the reduction of muscle strength and proprioception loss during natural aging process. Although surface did not affect the motion patterns of participants while putting on shorts, the slippery surface should be avoided. Other environmental modification such as a grab bar and bright illumination may have advantages in reducing the risk of falls.

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Available from: Li-Chieh Kuo, Mar 07, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Examine the effect of Ai Chi on balance and fear of falling in older adults. Methods: Thirty community dwelling frail older adults were randomly allocated to an experimental or control group, which had baseline similarity. Inclusion criteria were aged 77-88 yrs with either high or medium risk of falling (POMA score from 0 to 24). Balance was assessed with the Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA) and fear of falling (FOF) with the Falls Efficacy Scale (FES). The experimental group received 16 Ai Chi sessions over 6 weeks at a community aquatic centre. The control group received no instruction and was encouraged not to change their ADLs. Prior to intervention, 2 familiarization sessions were held Results: The experimental group showed statistical significant improvements in balance but not in fear of falling. The control group did not show a change in balance, but a significant increase in FOF. Intergroup comparisons showed significant differences in favor of the experimental group. Clinically significant effect size (ES, Cohen’s d) of 1.3 for the tPOMA (balance), with 1.1 and 1.4 for bPOMA and gPOMA respectively were found. A clinically significant ES for the FES was also reached (1.5). Conclusion: Findings show that Ai Chi leads to a clinical relevant increase of static and dynamic balance in older persons. Participants also showed maintenance of their level of FOF. Therefore an aquatic program based on Ai Chi could be made available for frail elderly. No follow up has been made, which prevents conclusions about long-term effects.
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