To determine whether elderly subjects with distinct histories of falls presented differences concerning the influence of sensory interaction on balance.Methods:
Cross-sectional research. Ninety-six community-dwelling elderly subjects were divided into three groups, according to the history of falls within the past year (group 1, no falls; group 2, one fall; and group 3, recurrent falls). The Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance was used to evaluate the influence of sensory inputs on standing balance. The test required the subject to maintain stability during 30 s, under six conditions: (i) firm surface with eyes open; (ii) firm surface with eyes closed; (iii) firm surface with visual conflict; (iv) unstable surface with eyes open; (v) unstable surface with eyes closed; and (vi) unstable surface with visual conflict. The time expended on conditions and the number of abnormal cases were compared between groups. Each group was evaluated in relation to its performance in the progression of conditions.Results:
More abnormal cases occurred in group 3 compared to group 1 for conditions (iv) and (v); and compared to group 2 for condition (iv). Group 3 remained less time than group 1 under conditions (iv), (v) and (vi). Groups 1, 2 and 3 presented relevant decrements in trial duration from conditions (iv) to (v). For group 3, a significant decay was also noted from condition (i) to (ii).Conclusion:
Sensorial interaction in the elderly varies according to their history of falls. Thus, it is possible to correctly guide the rehabilitation process and to prevent sensorial decays according to an individual's history of falls.