Improvement in Trunk Kinematics after Treadmill-based Reactive Balance Training among Older Adults is Strongly Associated with Trunk Kinematics Before Training
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Reactive balance training (RBT) is an emerging fall prevention exercise intervention for older adults. To better understand factors that influence improvements after RBT, the goal of this study was to identify key factors that strongly associate with training-induced improvements in reactive balance. This study is a secondary analysis of data from a prior study. Twenty-eight residents of senior housing facilities participated, including 14 RBT participants and 14 Tai Chi participants (controls). Before and one week after training, participants completed balance and mobility tests and a reactive balance test. Reactive balance was operationalized as the maximum trunk angle in response to standardized trip-like perturbations on a treadmill. Bivariate (Pearson) correlation was used to identify participant characteristics before RBT and measures of performance during RBT that associated with training-induced changes in maximum trunk angle. Maximum trunk angle before reactive balance training exhibited the strongest association with training-induced changes in maximum trunk angle among RBT participants (r2 = 0.84; p < .001), but not among Tai Chi participants (r2 = 0.17; p = .138). Measures of performance during RBT, based upon perturbation speed, also associated with RBT-induced improvements in maximum trunk angle. These results help clarify the characteristics of individuals who can benefit from RBT, and support the use of treadmill perturbation speed as a surrogate measure of training-induced improvements in trunk kinematics.
author list (cited authors)
Aviles, J., Wright, D. L., Allin, L. J., Alexander, N. B., & Madigan, M. L.