Five clinical tests to assess balance following ball exercises and treadmill training in adult persons with intellectual disability

Eli Carmeli, Shmuel Bar-Chad, Meir Lotan, Joav Merrick, Raymond Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Incidence rates of falling increase progressively with aging. Preventing or delaying the onset of functional decline is a crucial important goal, because more individuals with intellectual disability (D) are living well into their sixth and seventh decades. The question of whether walking and ball exercises can effect balance performance has never been reported. This pilot study was conducted to determine the effects of therapeutic training on improving balance capabilities in adults with mild ID. Methods. The study included 13 women and 4 men, aged 50-67 years (mean age 56.5 years) residing in a residential care center. Five clinical tests were used to determine the "real" picture of the locomotor function and balance before and after the training protocol. Baseline values were determined using 2 control groups of age-matched adults with and without ID. The tests included modified get-up-and-go, full turn, forward reach, sit-to-stand, and one-legged standing. Therapeutic training for 6 months included dynamic ball exercises and treadmill walking with a 2-3% positive inclination. Results. Participants in the program showed little to no improvement in terms of their static and dynamic balance compared to their initial values. Thus, only 2 of the tests showed statistical significance. Conclusions. Lack of improvement was noted in both postural and balance control in adults with mild ID as a result of 6 months of intervention by means of ball exercise and treadmill training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-772
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume58
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging

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