Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

A 12-Month Randomized Controlled Trial of Balance Training in Elderly Women with Osteoporosis: Improvement of Quality of Life and Reduction of Falls

Madureira,  Melisa M., Pereira,  Rosa M.R.


Physical and also psychological incapacity, including fear of falling was strongly related to self-reported decreased satisfaction with life in osteoporosis. The impact of a balance exercise prevention programs in improving quality of life is not well established. We therefore have investigated the effect of 12-month Balance Training Program in quality of life and falls in elderly women with osteoporosis.


Sixty consecutive women with senile osteoporosis (age:65 to 85 years) were recruited from the Osteometabolic Disease Outpatient Clinic and randomized into two groups: Balance Training Group (BT) with 30 patients and Control Group (CG) with 30 patients. The Balance Training Program was focused mainly on techniques to improve balance, coordination and mobility and consisted of one-hour exercise session/week supervised by a physiotherapist for 12-months and oriented exercises to be performed at home 3 days/week. Both groups were sedentary before inclusion in the study and all patients were taking their prescribed medication for osteoporosis. The quality of life, in both groups, was evaluated before and at the end of the trial using the Osteoporosis Assessment Questionnaire (OPAQ). The quality of life scores are standardized into identical units ranging between 1 (good health status) and 10 (poor health status). Falls in the preceding year were noted and compared to the period of study.


The groups BT and CG were similar in all basal scores domains of OPAQ, except for Social Interaction that was lower in BT compared to CG (2.69±1.42 vs. 3.49±1.47, p=0.013). The comparison of OPAQ domains variations (basal values – mean final values) revealed a significant improvement of quality of life in all parameters for BT group compared to CG: well being (1.61± 1.44 vs. -1.46 ± 1.32, p<0,001), physical function (1.30±1.33 vs. –0.36±0.82, p<0.001), psychological status (1.58±1.36 vs. –1.02±0.83, p<0.001), symptoms (2.76±1.96 vs. –0.63±0.87, p<0.001), social interaction (1.01±1.51 vs. 0.35±1.08, p<0.001). A significant progress was also observed regarding psychological status, fear of falls (3.78±3.15 vs. -0.72±1.89, p=0.001) and independence (-0.28±0.77 vs. -2.11±2.80, p=0.004) in BT group compare to CG. Of note, this overall improvement was paralleled by a reduction of falls in 50% of patients in BT group compared to 26.6% for the CG (OR: 7.50, p<0.025).


Our longitudinal prospective study demonstrated that 12-month Balance Training Intervention improve the quality of life and prevent falls in elderly people.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Madureira, Melisa M., Pereira, Rosa M.R.; A 12-Month Randomized Controlled Trial of Balance Training in Elderly Women with Osteoporosis: Improvement of Quality of Life and Reduction of Falls [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :1496
DOI: 10.1002/art.26570

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