Long-term effects of a progressive and specific balance-training programme with multi-task exercises for older adults with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled study

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To evaluate long-term effects of balance-training on concerns about falling, gait, balance performance, and physical function in older adults with osteoporosis and increased risk of falling.


Randomized controlled trial, including three groups (training, training+physical activity, and control group), with follow-ups at three, nine, and 15 months. Short-term, three-month follow-up, benefits for those who fulfilled the first follow-up (n = 69) have previously been reported.


Stockholm, Sweden.


A total of 96 elderly, age 66-87, with verified osteoporosis.


Balance-training programme including dual- and multitasks, with or without supplementary physical activity, three times/week over 12 weeks.


Concerns about falling Falls Efficacy Scale -International (FES-I), walking at preferred speed with and without a cognitive dual-task and at fast speed, balance tests (one-leg stance and modified figure-of-eight), and physical function Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI).


Participants in the training group maintained positive effects throughout the study period for concerns about falling (baseline vs. 15 months, median 27.5 vs. 23 points, p < 0.001) and walking performance (baseline vs. 15 months, p ≤ 0.05 with an improvement of 0.9-1.4 m/s). The Training+physical activity group declined to baseline values at the nine-month follow-up, and were even lower at the 15-month follow-up for concerns about falling (median 26 vs. 26 points), walking performance (changes of -0.02 to 0.04 m/s), and physical function (mean 44.0 vs. 42.9 points). The control group remained unchanged throughout the study period.


This balance-training programme reduced concerns about falling, and also improved gait in older adults with osteoporosis and increased risk of falling in a long-term perspective - important issues for fall prevention.

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