An Exploratory Study of On-Site Balance Recovery Training for Residents of Retirement Communities
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Approximately half of all falls among adults age 65 and older result from tripping. Therefore, improving the ability to recover balance after tripping may be an effective approach for reducing the number of falls among these individuals. Balance recovery training (BRT) is a novel exercise intervention that has the potential to improve balance recovery ability after a trip. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of BRT as an on-site intervention for improving reactive balance recovery ability among residents of retirement communities. BRT involved twelve 30-minute sessions over four weeks. During each session, subjects were safely and repeatedly exposed to postural perturbations that mimicked a trip using a modified treadmill. The active control, Tai Chi, involved the same number and duration of sessions as BRT. A battery of balance and mobility tests were performed before training and one week, one month, three months, and six months after training to assess changes in response to training, and differences between groups. The efficacy of BRT was supported by greater improvements and retention in many balance recovery measures compared to subjects who completed Tai Chi. The feasibility of BRT as an on-site intervention was also assessed using semi-structured interviews of subjects to determine overall perceptions of BRT as well as suggestions for sustainability of BRT. BRT subjects rated the intervention positively and provided useful feedback for implementation of a more permanent BRT program.
Aviles, Jessica (2017). An Exploratory Study of On-Site Balance Recovery Training for Residents of Retirement Communities. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from