Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a 12-month Balance Training Program on balance, mobility and falling frequency in women with osteoporosis.
Methods: Sixty-six consecutive elderly women were selected from the Osteometabolic Disease Outpatient Clinic and randomized into 2 groups: the 'Intervention', submitted for balance training; and the 'Control', without intervention. Balance, mobility and falling frequency were evaluated before and at the end of the trial, using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Clinical Test Sensory Interaction Balance (CTSIB) and the Timed "Up & Go" Test (TUGT). Intervention used techniques to improve balance consisting of a 1-hour session each week and a home-based exercise program.
Results: Sixty women completed the study and were analyzed. The BBS difference was significant higher in the Intervention group compared to Control (5.5 +/- 5.67 vs -0.5 +/- 4.88 score, p<0.001). Similarly, the number of patients in the Intervention group presented improvement in two conditions of CTSIB compared to Control (eyes closed and unstable surface condition: 13 vs one patient, p < 0.001 and eyes open, visual conflict and unstable surface condition: 12 vs one patient, p<0.001). Additionally, the differences between the TUGT were reduced in the Intervention group compared to Control (-3.65 +/- 3.61 vs 2.27 +/- 7.18 seconds, p< 0.001). Notably, this improvement was paralleled by a reduction in the number of falls/patient in the Intervention group compared to Control (-0.77 +/- 1.76 vs 0.33 +/- 0.96, p=0.018).
Conclusion: This longitudinal prospective study demonstrated that an intervention using balance training is effective in improving functional and static balance, mobility and falling frequency in elderly women with osteoporosis.