Effects of two 24-week multimodal exercise programs on reaction time, mobility, and dual-task performance in community-dwelling older adults at risk of falling: a randomized controlled trial.BMC Public Health. 2021 11 10; 21(Suppl 2):408.BP
Falls in older adults are considered a major public health problem. Declines in cognitive and physical functions, as measured by parameters including reaction time, mobility, and dual-task performance, have been reported to be important risk factors for falls. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of two multimodal programs on reaction time, mobility, and dual-task performance in community-dwelling older adults at risk of falling.
In this randomized controlled trial, fifty-one participants (75.4 ± 5.6 years) were allocated into two experimental groups (EGs) (with sessions 3 times per week for 24 weeks), and a control group: EG1 was enrolled in a psychomotor intervention program, EG2 was enrolled in a combined exercise program (psychomotor intervention program + whole-body vibration program), and the control group maintained their usual daily activities. The participants were assessed at baseline, after the intervention, and after a 12-week no-intervention follow-up period.
The comparisons revealed significant improvements in mobility and dual-task performance after the intervention in EG1, while there were improvements in reaction time, mobility, and dual-task performance in EG2 (p ≤ 0.05). The size of the interventions' clinical effect was medium in EG1 and ranged from medium to large in EG2. The comparisons also showed a reduction in the fall rate in both EGs (EG1: -44.2%; EG2: - 63.0%, p ≤ 0.05) from baseline to post-intervention. The interventions' effects on reaction time, mobility, and dual-task performance were no longer evident after the 12-week no-intervention follow-up period.
The results suggest that multimodal psychomotor programs were well tolerated by community-dwelling older adults and were effective for fall prevention, as well as for the prevention of cognitive and physical functional decline, particularly if the programs are combined with whole-body vibration exercise. The discontinuation of these programs could lead to the fast reversal of the positive outcomes achieved.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03446352. Date of registration: February 07, 2018.