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CitationSjúkraþjálfarinn 2007, 34(1):14-19
AbstractThe objective of this study was to evaluate possible changes in postural control and confidence in activities of daily living amongst senior citizens following sensory training. The training was directed at combined stimulation of the sensory systems together with fall-reaction training. Training sessions (~ 45 min) were 18, 2-3 times per week. Participants in the study were 43 senior citizens who attended the physiotherapy department, Landakot – University Hospital, for balance assessment and training because of unsteadiness. They were divided into a training group 1 (n=29) starting training immediately following assessment and a control group (n=14) including individuals who waited 4-6 months for training because of personal or institutional reasons. All the subjects in the control group were offered the same training after the waiting period. Those accepting the offer comprised training group 2 (n=8). Time for stand-sit test, 30 meter normal and fast walking and in stairs together with scores from Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and ABC Scale were compared before and after sensory training. The same variables were compared in the control group before and after waiting period and between the training groups prior to the training. The effect of the training on subjects with confirmed central nervous system diagnosis was also examined (n=6). Descriptive statistics, Wilcoxon signed-rank and Mann- Whitney tests were used for analyses. Ap≤0.05 was considered significant. A significant improvement was observed in all measurements, before and after sensory training in training group 1, (p≤0.001). Training group 2 also improved significantly (p≤0.05), except on the ABC scale. Subjects with confirmed CNS diagnosis improved less, although significant progress was observed on SOT, normal walking and walking stairs (p≤0.05). No significant changes where observed in the control group during the waiting period. A significant difference was not observed between training group 1 and the control group at initial measurements. The results of the study indicates that vestibular and somato-sensory training, as well as training of fall reactions, improves postural control and confidence in activities of daily living among elderly people. Thus, training that facilitates the sensory organs, which are important for postural control, should be the basis and precoursory to other balance training among the elderly. This type of training seems also to benefit individuals with confirmed CNS diagnosis.
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