The aim of this study was to examine and compare the effects of conventional, multisensory, and dual-task exercises on balance ability in a group of older community dwellers over a four-week period. Forty-four older people were randomly assigned to one of the three training groups. The score on the Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale, gait stability ratio, and walking speed were evaluated at baseline and after four weeks of training. All three groups showed significant (p < .001) improvement in the FAB scores following the three training programs (on average, 3 points for the conventional and multisensory groups and 3.8 points for the dual-task group). The improvements were comparable across the three intervention groups (p = .23). There were no statistically significant differences, neither within nor between groups, in the gait stability ratio and walking speed across the three training groups. In a four-week period, all the training modes were effective in improving balance of older adults, with no significant superiority of one mode of training over another.
Nematollahi and Etminan are with the Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Kamali, Ghanbari, and Sobhani are with the Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.