Changes on Walking During Street Crossing Situations and on Dorsiflexion Strength of Older Caribbean Americans After an Exercise Program: A Pilot Study

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The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate a 6-month exercise program completed by 10 older Caribbean Americans. Assessments were done at baseline and 3 and 6 months, and included walks on an instrumented mat at preferred speed, and during street crossing simulations with regular (10 s) and reduced time (5 s). There were no significant differences on preferred walking speed over time. Differences between the street crossing conditions were found only at 6 months. Significant changes over time among the assessments were found only during street crossing with reduced time. Street crossing with reduced time was the only walking condition sensitive to capture changes associated with participating in the exercise program. There was a significant increase in dorsiflexion strength overtime. At 6 months it was significantly higher than at baseline and 3 months. The program was feasible, acceptable, and had some positive effects on walking, knee flexion, and dorsiflexion strength.

Vieira and Severi are with the Department of Physical Therapy, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Tappen and Gropper are with Chrystinne E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. Engstrom is with Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. De Oliveira and da Silva are with the Department of Physical Therapy, Florida International University, Miami, FL; and the Department of Physical Therapy, North Parana University, Londrina, Brazil. Barbosa is with the Department of Physical Therapy, Florida International University, Miami, FL; and the Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

Address author correspondence to Edgar R. Vieira at evieira@fiu.edu.
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