Objective: This study assessed the postural stability in children with asthma using balance tests under conditions of a comfortable foot placement and with a foot placement provoking instability.
Methods: A group of 10 school children from 8 to 10 years old with mild intermittent asthma and 10 healthy children of the same age range performed four balance tests in a randomized order: preferred stance, adjusted stance, and tandem stance each under both conditions of eyes opened (EO) and eyes closed (EC), as well as a one-legged stance with eyes-opened conditions. To determine postural stability, the center of pressure (CoP) movement was recorded. Basic stabilographic parameters were calculated: CoP velocity in the anterior-posterior direction, CoP velocity in the medial-lateral direction, and the total CoP velocity.
Results: Statistically significant differences between the groups were found only for the one-legged stance. Significantly greater anterior-posterior CoP velocity (p = 0.05) and total CoP velocity (p = 0.03) were found in children with asthma when standing on the preferred foot. A significantly greater medial-lateral velocity (p = 0.02) was also found in the non-preferred foot of children with asthma.
Conclusions: We can conclude that standing on one leg might be an appropriate test with which to identify balance differences between young children with mild intermittent asthma and healthy children.
Keywords: Balance tests; center of pressure velocity; postural balance; stable phase of asthma.