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06-06-2010 | Bone health | Article

Balance program boosts osteoporosis patient QoL


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study findings show that women with osteoporosis can experience significant quality of life (QoL) benefits from a 1-year exercise program designed to improve their balance.

“The long-term Balance Training Program (BTP) of osteoporosis in women provides a striking overall health QoL improvement in parallel with improving functional balance and reduced falls,” report Rosa Pereira and co-workers, from the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.

The team assessed the impact of the BTP which consists of 40 1-hour exercise classes supervised by a physiotherapist. These include warm-up and stretching exercises and 30 minutes of balance training in dynamic and static positions. Participants were also asked to complete the same exercise at home at least three times a week for 30 minutes.

Overall, 30 women with senile osteoporosis were randomly assigned to complete the BTP, and take calcium carbonate and vitamin D supplements, while 30 women were assigned to receive supplements alone. The groups were aged an average of 74.6 and 73.4 years, respectively.

As reported in the journal Maturitas, the Osteoporosis Assessment Questionnaire showed that women assigned to receive the BTP showed significant improvements in quality of life (QoL) with regard to well-being, physical function, psychologic status, symptoms, and social interaction.

The BTP group also experienced significant improvement on the Berg Balance Scale for functional balance compared with controls, as well as a 50.0% reduction in falls compared with just 26.6% reduction for controls.

The BTP group showed high adherence to the program with 60% of patients attending all scheduled exercise sessions, and 77% of the patients performing the home exercises at least once a week, with 40% exercising every day.

“The proposed balance program is simple, easy to be taught and applicable with minimal supervision, allowing a safe home-based exercise program,” Pereira et al conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lynda Williams

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