Objective: To evaluate the effects of a 12-week balance training programme on self-assessed function and disability in healthy community-dwelling older adults with self-perceived balance deficits and fear of falling.
Design: A prospective, randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Stockholm County, Sweden.
Participants: A total of 59 community-dwelling older adults (42 women and 17 men) aged 67-93 were randomized to either an intervention group (n = 38) or to serve as controls (n = 21) after baseline testing.
Intervention: The intervention was a 12-week, three times per week, progressive, specific and individually adjusted group balance-training programme.
Main measures: Self-perceived function and disability measured with Late Life Function and Disability Instrument.
Results: The intervention group reported improvement in overall function (p = 0.016), as well as in basic (p = 0.044) and advanced lower extremity function (p = 0.025) compared with the control group. The study showed no improvement in overall disability or upper extremity function.
Conclusion: This group balance training programme improves self-assessed function in community-dwelling older adults with balance deficits and fear of falling.
Keywords: Balance deficits; elderly; late life function and disability instrument; training.
© The Author(s) 2014.