Effect of physical exercise program on the balance and risk of falls of institutionalized elderly persons: a randomized clinical trial

Camila Tomicki Sheila Cristina Cecagno Zanini Luana Cecchin Tania Rosane Bertoldo Benedetti Marilene Rodrigues Portella Camila Pereira Leguisamo About the authors

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of an exercise program on the postural balance and risk of falls of institutionalized elderly persons. A randomized controlled trial was performed. The study was conducted in two long-stay philanthropic care facilities for the elderly in a city in the north of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Participants were divided into control (G1) and intervention groups (G2). G1 did not receive any type of intervention whereas G2 participated in an exercise program three times a week for twelve weeks. The groups were evaluated by the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT). After the intervention, G2 achieved better scores in both BBS and in the TUGT, indicating a significant improvement in body balance and a reduction in the risk of falls compared to G1. The Spearman ordinal correlation revealed that there was a statistically significant association between BBS and TUGT (p<0.001). G1 did not present positive results compared to G2 both at baseline and in post intervention. It can be inferred that the proposed exercise program was effective in improving body balance and the performance of functional tasks, contributing to an improvement in the risk of falls as a result. REBEC: RBR-5XNYJS.

Key words:
Randomized Controlled Trial; Homes for the Aged; Postural Balance; Accidental Falls; Exercise

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