The effect of exercise training on balance in adult patients with post-stroke hemiplegia

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International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation


Stroke patients with balance problems are prone to falls. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of exercise training on balance and incidence of falls in adult patients with post-stroke hemiplegia. The study was conducted with 23 patients with first episode, single stroke (14 men, 9 women; mean age=57.56 ±10.40 years, range 43–78). Ten of the participants had right-sided hemiplegia and 13 had left-sided hemiplegia; mean time since stroke was 28.88 ± 21.64 months (range 3–60). The patients underwent balance-specific exercise training for 8 weeks. Participants were assessed for balance before and after the intervention using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). In addition, reports of falls among the patients were tracked for the period of intervention and compared with the history of falls in the 8 weeks preceding the start of exercise training. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to evaluate the significance of the difference between the pre-training and post-training balance scores on the BBS, and to determine whether significant difference existed between the mean values of history of falls and incidence of falls (P<0.05). Exercise training resulted in significant improvement in balance and non-significant reduction in incidence of falls of adult stroke patients. It was concluded that balance deficits should be addressed with individualized balance training programmes in order to reduce the incidence of falls in stroke patients. © MA Healthcare Limited 2014.



Balance, Exercise training, Falls, Rehabilitation, Stroke