Multimodal Exercise Benefits Mobility in Older Adults With Visual Impairment: A Preliminary Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Evidence-based recommendations for interventions to reduce fall risk in older adults with visual impairment are lacking. Adapted tango dance (Tango) and a balance and mobility program (FallProof) have improved mobility, balance, and quality of life (QOL) in individuals with movement impairment. This study compared the efficacy of Tango and FallProof for 32 individuals with visual impairment (age: M = 79.3, SD =11 [51–95 years]). Participants were assigned to Tango or FallProof to complete twenty, 90-min lessons within 12 weeks. Participants underwent assessment of balance, dual-tasking, endurance, gait, and vision-related QOL. The balance reactions of participants in both groups improved (p < .001). Endurance, cognitive dual-tasking, and vision-related QOL may have improved more for Tango than FallProof. Group differences and gains were maintained across time. Both programs could be effective options for motor rehabilitation for older adults with visual impairment because they may improve mobility and QOL while reducing fall risk.

Hackney and Echt are with the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Decatur, GA; the Birmingham-Atlanta Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Decatur, GA; and Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Atlanta, GA. Hall is with Research & Development, James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN; and the Department of Physical Therapy, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Wolf is with the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Decatur, GA; and Emory University School of Medicine, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medicine and Cell Biology, Atlanta, GA.

Address author correspondence to Madeleine E. Hackney at madeleine.hackney@gmail.com.