Vibration training reducing falls in community-living older adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Author: Feng Yang1, Xiaogang Su2, Maria Cristal Sanchez3, Madeleine Eve Hackney4,5, Andrew John Butler6
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, 125 Decatur St, Suite-137, Atlanta, GA, 30303, USA. <sup>2</sup> Department of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, 79968, USA. <sup>3</sup> Kinesiology Department, El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX, 79925, USA. <sup>4</sup> Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA. <sup>5</sup> Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, Atlanta VA Health Care System, Decatur, GA, 30033, USA. <sup>6</sup> Department of Physical Therapy, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA.
Conference/Journal: Aging Clin Exp Res
Date published: 2023 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 35 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 803-814 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s40520-023-02362-6. , Word Count: 267

Although vibration training has been applied in older adults, it remains unclear if it can reduce falls.

This pilot randomized-controlled trial aimed to test the effects of an 8-week vibration training program on reducing falls among community-dwelling adults.

Forty-eight older adults were randomized to two groups: training and control. The training group received three weekly training sessions over eight weeks while the control group maintained their normal lifestyle over the 8-week period. Immediately before (or baseline), following (post-training), and three months after (retest) the 8-week training course, a group of fall risk factors were assessed for all participants. Each participant was also exposed to an unexpected gait-slip on a treadmill during post-training and retest sessions. Their daily-living fall incidence was collected for 12 months after the baseline test. The slip fall was the primary outcome, prospective all-cause falls were the secondary outcome, and fall risk factors acted as the tertiary ones.

The vibration training program significantly reduced the risk of slip-falls and improved all fall risk factors immediately after the training course. The training effect may be carried over for three months. The 8-week training program could also lower the number of falls between the baseline test and retest and reduce the recurrent faller rate across the 12 months after the baseline test.

This study indicates that vibration training might have some effects on fall-related measures in older adults.

An 8-week vibration training program could be effective to reduce falls in older adults.

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Keywords: Balance; Cognition; Power; Sensation; Slip falls; Strength.

PMID: 36781617 PMCID: PMC9924854 DOI: 10.1007/s40520-023-02362-6