The effect of additional core stability exercises on improving dynamic sitting balance and trunk control for subacute stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the effect of core stability exercises on trunk control, dynamic sitting and standing balance, gait, and activities of daily living in subacute stroke patients.

Design:

A randomized controlled trial.

Setting:

Inpatient rehabilitation hospital in two centres.

Subjects:

Eighty patients (mean of 23.25 (±16.7) days post-stroke) were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group.

Interventions:

Both groups underwent conventional therapy for five days/week for five weeks and the experimental group performed core stability exercises for 15 min/day. The patients were assessed before and after intervention.

Main measures:

The Trunk Impairment Scale (Spanish-Version) and Function in Sitting Test were used to measure the primary outcome of dynamic sitting balance. Secondary outcome measures were standing balance and gait as evaluated via Berg Balance Scale, Tinetti Test, Brunel Balance Assessment, Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke (Spanish-Version), and activities of daily living using Barthel Index.

Results:

The experimental group showed statistically significant differences for all of the total scale scores (P<0.05), except for the sitting section of the Brunel Balance Assessment. The mean (SD) difference between groups in Trunk Impairment Scale total score was 3.40 (±4.12) points, and its subscale dynamic sitting balance was 2.28 (±3.29). The Berg Balance Scale was 14.54 (±18.19) points, and the Barthel Index was 13.17 (±25.27) points. Collectively, these results were in favour of the experimental group.

Conclusions:

Core stability exercises in addition to conventional therapy improves trunk control, dynamic sitting balance, standing balance, gait and activities of daily living in subacute post-stroke patients.

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