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Interventions for Addressing Low Balance Confidence in Older Adults

Interventions for Addressing Low Balance Confidence in Older Adults

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Debbie Rand; William C. Miller; Jeanne Yiu; Janice J. Eng

Posted: 06/01/2011; Age and Aging. 2011;40(3):297-306. © 2011 Oxford University Press

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Background: low balance confidence is a major health problem among older adults restricting their participation in daily life.

Objectives: to determine what interventions are most effective in increasing balance confidence in older adults.

Design: systematic review with meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials including at least one continuous end point of balance confidence. Studies, including adults 60 years or older without a neurological condition, were included in our study.

Methods: the standardised mean difference (SMD) of continuous end points of balance confidence was calculated to estimate the pooled effect size with random-effect models. Methodological quality of trials was assessed using the Physical Therapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale.

Results: thirty studies were included in this review and a meta-analysis was conducted for 24 studies. Interventions were pooled into exercise (n = 9 trials, 453 subjects), Tai Chi (n = 5 trials, 468 subjects), multifactorial intervention (n = 10 trials, 1,233 subjects). Low significant effects were found for exercise and multifactorial interventions (SMD 0.22–0.31) and medium (SMD 0.48) significant effects were found for Tai Chi.

Conclusion: Tai chi interventions are the most beneficial in increasing the balance confidence of older adults.