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Effect of pilates exercise for improving balance in older adults: a systematic review with meta-analysis


Barker, AL and Bird, M-L and Talevski, J, Effect of pilates exercise for improving balance in older adults: a systematic review with meta-analysis, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96, (4) pp. 715-723. ISSN 0003-9993 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.11.021


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of Pilates on balance and falls in older adults, and whether programs tested in prior studies met best-practice recommendations for exercise to prevent falls.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, PubMed, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and The Cochrane Library were searched from earliest record to July 2014.

STUDY SELECTION: Randomized and controlled clinical trials evaluating the effect of Pilates on balance and/or falls in older adults.

DATA EXTRACTION: Two reviewers independently extracted demographic, intervention, and outcome data. Six studies were included in this review.

DATA SYNTHESIS: High-quality studies in this area are lacking. When compared with nonactive control groups, Pilates was shown to improve balance (standardized mean difference [SMD]=.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], .44-1.23; 6 studies) and reduce the number of falls (SMD=-2.03; 95% CI, -2.66 to -1.40; 1 study). Three studies provided sufficient detail to enable assessment of compliance with the recommendation of exercises providing a moderate or high challenge to balance. In these studies, 2% to 36% of exercises were assessed as providing a moderate or high challenge to balance. All studies provided ≥2 hours of exercise per week, and 1 study provided >50 hours of exercise during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence suggests Pilates can improve balance, an important risk factor for falls in older adults. However, there is limited data on the impact of Pilates on falls. Effects may have been overestimated because of the low methodological quality of studies. Best-practice recommendations were rarely applied in prior studies, indicating greater effects may have been achieved if recommendations were incorporated.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accidental falls,
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Motor control
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Bird, M-L (Dr Marie-Louise Bird)
ID Code:98843
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-03-04
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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