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Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a 4-week treadmill walking on balance and gait performance in Thai elderly.
Study Design: Experimental research, pretest-posttest one group design
Setting: Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Faculty of medicine Ramathibodi Hospital
Subjects: Thai elderly aged 60 or older and volunteered to participate in the study
Methods: A 30-minute treadmill walking at each individual comfortable speed was set as 2 times per week for 4 weeks. At baseline and 4 weeks, participants were tested in their static balance by Single-Leg Stance Test with eyes open and close (SLST-EO and SLST-EC), dynamic balance by Expanded Timed Up and Go Test (ETUG) and gait velocity were measured.
Results: Twenty-four elderly with mean age (standard deviation) of 65 (4.4) were recruited. The SLST-EO [median(interquartile range, IQR)] of right, left leg for pre and post training were [20.70 (15.60-63.00)], [20.36 (10.80-67.27)] and [38.00 (20.17-74.19)], [26.52 (14.61-72.39)] sec, respectively. The SLST-EC [median (interquartile range, IQR)] of right, left leg for pre and post training were [4.20 (3.42-9.29)], [4.00 (2.89-7.91)] and [6.85 (2.70-13.62)], [4.96 (3.91-12.59)] sec, respectively. ETUG, gait velocity [mean(standard deviation)] of pre training were [22.37 (3.15)] sec, [1.08 (0.15)] m/s and post training were [20.54 (2.12)] sec, [1.14 (0.15) ]m/s, respectively. All parameters in post training were statistically improved. (P < 0.05)
Conclusion: A 4 week, twice weekly, treadmill walking training is able to improved balance, both dynamic and static, and gait velocity in Thai elderly.
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