Balance Tests and Measures


Balance Confidence and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Are Most Predictive of Falling in Older Adults: Prospective Analysis

Merrill R. Landers, Sarrie Oscar, Jessica Sasaoka, Kyle Vaughn

Summary:

Physical-based measures (Berg Balance Scale, Sensory Organization Test, Timed “Up & Go”, and Dynamic Gait Index) as well as psychological-based measures (Falls Efficacy Scale, Activity Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire) were assessed during this study to determine which variable(s) were most predictive of falls in older adults. The results of this study concluded that balance confidence was the best predictor of falling, followed by fear of falling avoidance behavior, and the Time “Up & Go” (TUG). Fall history, presence of pathology, and physical tests did not predict falling. The study also concluded that psychological factors (balance confidence and fear avoidance) were stronger predictors of future falls than physical factors (gait, balance, visual acuity, etc.)

Year study was published: 2018

Mean age of participants in study: 72.2 years

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Effects of a Salsa Dance Training on Balance and Strength Performance in Older Adults

Urs Granacher, Thomas Muehlbauer, Stephanie A. Bridenbaugh, Madeleine Wolf, Ralf Roth, Yves Gschwind, Irene Wolf, Rui Mata, Reto W. Kressig

Summary:

In this 8 week of progressive salsa dancing, researchers investigated the effects of salsa dancing on measures of static/dynamic postural control and leg extensor power in older adults. The researchers concluded this was a safe and feasible exercise program for older adults and there was a significant increase in stride velocity in the salsa group as compared to the control group; however, there were no significant changes in gait variability and muscle power of leg extensors. This was the first study that has investigated the impact of salsa dancing no intrinsic fall-risk factors (stride velocity and leg extensor power) in older adults.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 71.6 years

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Factors Contributing to Single- and Dual-Task Timed “Up & Go” Test Performance in Middle-Aged and Older Adults Who Are Active and Dwell in the Community

Hui-Ya Chen, Pei-Fang Tang

H-Y. Chen, PT, PhD, School of Physical Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Tai- wan, and Physical Therapy Room

Summary:

When comparing the factors that contribute to performance on the single- and dual-task (serial subtraction or carrying water) TUG tests in 64 participants the following factors were found to be associated with better performance on all TUG tests (single- and dual-task): younger age, hip extensor weakness, walking speed, general mental function, and Stroop scores for word and color. However, factors contributing to solely to dual-task TUG were influenced by age and focused attention, specifically for carrying water and serial subtraction, respectively. These results suggest the importance of the combined use of the 3 TUG tests.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 71.6 years old

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The Effect of Ballroom Dance on Balance and Functional Autonomy Among the Isolated Elderly

Eliane Gomes da Silva Borges a,b,c,*, Sama ́ria Ali Cader b,c,d, Rodrigo Gomes de Souza Vale b,c, Thales Henrique Pires Cruz b,c, Mauro Cezar de Gurgel de Alencar Carvalho b,c, Francisco Miguel Pinto b,c, Este ́lio H.M. Dantas b,c

Summary:

In this study based out of Brazil, 39/75 individuals from three long-term institutions participated in a 50 min Ballroom Dance Program that incorporated rumba, swing, samba, and bolero and took place 3 times a week. The control group (36/75 individuals) maintained their normal daily activities. These individuals were evaluated using the Latin American Group for Maturity (GDLAM) protocol to assess functional autonomy and the stabiolometer to assess physical balance. The results of this study concluded the ballroom dance program led to an increase in the level of functional autonomy and in physical balance.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 77 years old

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Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors

Kathrin Rehfeld1, Patrick Müller1, Norman Aye, Marlen Schmicker,
Milos Dordevic1, Jörn Kaufmann, Anita Hökelmann and Notger G. Müller

Summary:

Dancing combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills, and cognitive demands while maintaining a low risk of injury. In this study, an 18-month dancing intervention was compared to traditional health fitness training. Researchers were looking for both volume increases in the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for memory consolidation, learning and navigation in space, as well as improvements in balance. While both the dancing group and traditional fitness group both showed volume increases in the hippocampus, the dancing group showed increases in more areas of the hippocampus as well as significant increase in the balance score. From these results the researchers concluded dancing seems to be a promising intervention for both improving balance and hippocampal structure in the elderly.

Year study was published: 2017

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

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Exercise to Prevent Falls in Older Adults: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Best Practice Recommendations

by Catherine Sherrington, Anne Tiedemann, Nicola Fairhall, Jacqueline C.T. Close and Stephen R. Lord

Summary:

This article compiled data from 54 randomized controlled trials looking at exercise as a single intervention to prevent falls. They concluded that exercise for falls prevention should occur at least 2 hours per week and should be targeted at both the general community as well as those at high risk of falls and may occur in both a group or home-based setting. The exercise programs should include: moderate to high challenges to balance as well as strength training, a sufficient dose of exercise, exercise needs to be ongoing, and should include a brisk walking training, unless they are a high risk falls individual.

Year study was published: 2011

Mean age of participants in study: 65+ years old

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Balance Confidence and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Are Most Predictive of Falling in Older Adults

by Merrill R. Landers, Sarrie Oscar, Jessica Sasoka & Kyle Vaughn

Summary:

Physical-based measures (Berg Balance Scale, Sensory Organization Test, Timed “Up & Go”, and Dynamic Gait Index) as well as psychological-based measures (Falls Efficacy Scale, Activity Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire) were assessed during this study to determine which variable(s) were most predictive of falls in older adults. The results of this study concluded that balance confidence was the best predictor of falling, followed by fear of falling avoidance behavior, and the Time “Up & Go” (TUG). Fall history, presence of pathology, and physical tests did not predict falling. The study also concluded that psychological factors (balance confidence and fear avoidance) were stronger predictors of future falls than physical factors (gait, balance, visual acuity, etc.)

Year study was published: 2018

Mean age of participants in study: 72.2 years

Click here to read the full article