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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 June;46(2):159-68


language: English

Effects of traditional physical training and visual computer feedback training in frail elderly patients. A randomized intervention study

Hagedorn D. K., Holm E.

Rehabilitation Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA


BACKGROUND: Physical training to increase muscle strength and balance is considered useful for prevention of falls in older people.
AIM: This study compares conventional balance training with visual computer feedback training.
DESIGN: This was a randomized controlled 12-week intervention trial with pre- and post-training evaluations.
SETTING: Out-patients referred to a geriatric falls and balance clinic.
POPULATION: Thirty-five patients were randomized into two training groups.
METHODS: Both groups received progressive resistance muscle strength training and physical fitness training. Additionally, one group received traditional balance training and the other group received computer feedback balance training. Strength, physical endurance, balance and falls efficacy scale scoring were assessed before and after end of training.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients (77%) were available for the evaluation; mean compliance was 71%. In the combined group, significant mean improvement was observed in knee extension (19%), ankle dorsiflexion (16%), sitting to standing (16%), and in the six-minute walk test (8%). In the traditional balance training group, the static balance in the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance standing on a foam mat with closed eyes showed a significant increase (80%). No increase occurred in the computer balance training group. However, the computer feed-back training group showed a marked improvement that was up to 400% in the training specific performance.
CONCLUSION: Elderly frail patients were able to increase muscle strength and physical endurance. A limited improvement was seen in the static balance tests. The computer feedback group showed a remarkable increase in training specific performance.
Clinical Rehabilitation Impact.

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