Walking meditation versus balance training for improving balance abilities among older adults with history of fall: A randomized controlled trial

Author: Chalida Phoobangkerdphol1, Patchara Limampai2, Sirinuch Dasri3, Vilai Kuptniratsaikul1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, 65106Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. <sup>2</sup> Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and Recreation, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 65106Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. <sup>3</sup> Division of Surgical Nursing, Department of Nursing, Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
Conference/Journal: Clin Rehabil
Date published: 2022 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 36 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 538-549 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/02692155211068232. , Word Count: 246

To investigate improvement in balance abilities compared between walking meditation and balance training among older adults with history of fall.

Walking meditation or mindfulness meditation whilst standing and moving (n = 35) or balance training (n = 33) 20-30 min/day, 5-7 days/week for 24 weeks was performed at home.

Main outcomes:
The primary outcomes were dynamic balance abilities as assessed by Timed Up and Go test (TUGT), and static balance as assessed by Functional Reach Test (FRT) and Single Leg Stance Test (SLST). The secondary outcomes were quality of life as measured by the EuroQOL 5-dimensions 5-levels (EQ-5D-5L), and mental health as evaluated by the Thai Geriatric Mental Health Assessment Tool-15 (TGMHA-15). All outcomes were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 9 months. Self-reported compliance, adverse events, and patient satisfaction were recorded at 6 and 9 months.

The mean age was 69 years (range: 60-85). No significant difference was observed between groups for the 3 primary outcome measures. The mean difference (95% confidence interval) between groups was -0.48 (-1.40, 0.44) for TUGT, -1.11 (-3.66, 1.45) for FRT, and 0.82 (-5.03, 6.67) for SLST. The EQ-5D-5L and TGMHA-15 also showed no significant difference between groups. Most participants were in good compliance with the exercise protocol (48.3-68.0%), and no serious adverse events were reported.

Our results showed walking meditation to be comparable to balance training for improving balance abilities in older adults with history of fall. Walking meditation may be considered an alternative treatment for improving balance abilities in this patient population.

PMID: 34931904 DOI: 10.1177/02692155211068232