Clin Rehabil. 2012 Oct;26(10):915-23. doi: 10.1177/0269215511435688. Epub 2012 Feb 9.
Whole-body vibration in addition to strength and balance exercise for falls-related functional mobility of frail older adults: a single-blind randomized controlled trial.
Pollock RD, Martin FC, Newham DJ.
Source: Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King’s College London, UK. email@example.com
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of whole-body vibration in addition to an exercise programme on functional mobility and related outcomes for frail older fallers.
DESIGN: Single-blind randomized parallel group trial. Setting: UK; National Health Service assessment and rehabilitation facility for older people.
PARTICIPANTS: Frail older fallers: 38 (80 ± 8.6 years) performed the exercise with whole-body vibration (vibration group), and 39 (82 ± 8.1 years) without (exercise group).
INTERVENTION: Sixty minutes supervised exercise class three times weekly for eight weeks ± whole-body vibration (up to 5 × 1 minute, 15-30 Hz and 2-8 mm peak-to-peak).
MEASUREMENTS: Timed Up and Go, 6-m walk, static balance, fear of falling (FES-I) and self-reported health status (SF-12 version 2) were assessed at baseline, four weeks (mobility measures only), eight weeks and six months.
RESULTS: Timed Up and Go and 6-m walk improved in both groups at eight weeks (P < 0.01), but significantly more in the vibration group (timed up and go: 38 vs. 20%, P < 0.05); 6-m walk: (36 vs. 18.1%, P < 0.05, respectively). Balance, fear of falling and physical component of the self-reported health status improved similarly in both groups (P < 0.05). At follow-up, no significant differences from baseline remained for any measure. The mean total time experienced was 37% of maximal target.
CONCLUSION: The addition of whole-body vibration to strength and balance exercise resulted in greater improvements in functional mobility than exercise alone, despite achieving lower than anticipated exposure. Gains from neither intervention were sustained at six months.