Comparison of balance in the older people with and without visual impairment

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Comparison of balance in the older people with and without visual impairment

 

Author: Lee, Ka-man Harry
Title: Comparison of balance in the older people with and without visual impairment
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Older people -- Health and hygiene
Older people with visual disabilities -- Health and hygiene
Equilibrium (Physiology)
Gait in humans
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xi, 121 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1569098
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1248
Abstract: With an extensive literature review, there was a lack of research in studying balance of the older people with different degrees of visual impairment. It is found that impaired balance had been correlated with an increased risk of falls and an increased mortality rate in older persons with no visual impairment (Bogle & Newton, 1996). The aim of this study was to compare the balance ability of the older people with no visual impairment and those with different degrees of visual impairment. A cross-sectional study design was used. The study was carried out in seven dare and attention homes for aged individuals in Hong Kong. Sixty-six subjects, 65 years of age and older- 22 with no visual impairment, 22 with mild visual impairment, and 22 with moderate visual impairment were recruited in this study. The directional E's chart was used to test the subjects' visual acuity (central vision) and the level of visual impairment was then classified into three groups according to the World Health Organization (1973) standard. Functional balance ability was measured using the Berg balance scale. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to analyze the intra-rater reliability of the Berg balance test. Demographic characteristics, such as gender, age, height, body mass index, cause of visual problems, and type of walking aids used by the subjects were compared. Additional variables that could be associated with balance, such as lower extremity range of motion, muscle strength, and joint pain were also measured and compared between the groups. A one-way analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) test was used to analyze the Berg balance scores between the three groups with all the potential confounding variables included. The ICC (1,1) for the intra-rater reliability was found to be 0.97. Gender, age, and height were shown to be significantly different between the three groups (gender, p=0.011; age, p=0.003; height, p=0.009). Right hip, right knee, and left ankle joint range of motion were also shown to be different between the groups (right hip, p=0.048; right knee, p=0.007; right ankle, p=0.049). The result of the ANCOVA revealed that there was a statistical significant difference in the Berg balance scores between the normal vision group and the moderate visual impairment group (p=0.001). A statistical significant difference in the balance scores was also found between the mild visual impairment group and the moderate visual impairment group (p=0.004). However, there was no difference in the Berg balance scores between the group with normal vision and the group with mild visual impairment (p=0.31). Balance was shown to decline with greater visual impairment, which could results in falls, and resultant injury. The findings suggest that early intervention to improve distant vision in at-risk older people is important.

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