Research Article| Volume 79, ISSUE 4, P456-463, December 2014

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Effects of supervised whole body vibration exercise on fall risk factors, functional dependence and health-related quality of life in nursing home residents aged 80+

Published:September 29, 2014DOI:


      • Whole Body Vibration (WBV) training has been suggested to be an effective way to reduce risk of falls among elderly but has been rarely investigated among nursing home residents.
      • The application of an 8-wk WBV-based intervention in a nursing home setting is feasible and effective to reduce fall risk factors, improve performance in activities of daily living and increase health-related quality of life in nursing home residents over the age of 80 years.
      • The intervention presented here could operate as a model for nursing home practitioners to implement WBV as an exercise-based management intervention for residents in nursing homes.



      To test the feasibility and effectiveness of whole-body vibration (WBV) therapy on fall risk, functional dependence and health-related quality of life in nursing home residents aged 80+ years.


      Twenty-nine 80–95 years old volunteers, nursing home residents were randomized to an eight-week WBV intervention group) (n = 15) or control group (n = 14). Functional mobility was assessed using the timed up and go (TUG) test. Lower limb performance was evaluated using the 30-s Chair Sit to Stand (30-s CSTS) test. Postural stability was measured using a force platform. The Barthel Index was used to assess functional dependence and the EuroQol (EQ-5D) was used to evaluate Health-Related Quality of Life. All outcome measures were assessed at baseline and at a follow-up after 8 weeks.


      At the 8-week follow up, TUG test (p < 0.001), 30-s CSTS number of times (p = 0.006), EQ-5Dmobility (p < 0.001), EQ-5DVAS (p < 0.014), EQ-5Dutility (p < 0.001) and Barthel index (p = 0.003) improved in the WBV intervention group when compared to the control group.


      An 8-week WBV-based intervention in a nursing home setting is effective in reducing fall risk factors and quality of life in nursing home residents aged 80+.


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