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Aging Clin Exp Res, 2014; 26(5): 511-7, PMID: 24633589

Feasibility of whole-body vibration training in nursing home residents with low physical function: a pilot study.

Year: 2014

Sievanen H, Karinkanta S, Moisio-Vilenius P, Ripsaluoma J
The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, 33501, Tampere, Finland,


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Whole-body vibration (WBV) training may offer an efficient option to improve physical performance of nursing home residents, but the feasibility of WBV training among frail elderly who require continuous institutional care is still open. METHODS: Fifteen nursing home residents (mean age 84 years) with low physical performance (mean SPPB score 3.7) participated in this blinded, randomized controlled pilot trial. The intervention was either a 10 week, twice-a-week progressive vibration training with slight exercises done on a side-alternating device or similar sham training without vibration. Physical performance was assessed with Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Timed Up and Go, walk speed and grip strength tests. RESULTS: Low 12 Hz frequency was well tolerated with mean 95 % compliance in contrast to higher 18 Hz (or 26 Hz) frequency, which was poorly (<30 %) tolerated. While treatment effects were not significant, the mean change in SPPB score was 0.4 (range from -2 to +4) in the WBV group in contrast to -0.1 (from -3 to +3) in the sham group. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Frail nursing home residents form not only a potential but also challenging target group for physical rehabilitation with WBV. Side-alternating WBV training performed at low 12 Hz frequency was found generally feasible, whereas higher frequencies appeared formidable. Nevertheless, it is possible that physical performance of some frail elderly without contraindications to WBV can be improved with this type of rapidly executable physical training.

GID: 3498; Last update: 20.03.2014