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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 873672, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep055
Original Article

Feldenkrais Method Balance Classes Improve Balance in Older Adults: A Controlled Trial

1Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
2Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Caulfield South, Australia
3Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia

Received 25 September 2008; Accepted 19 May 2009

Copyright © 2011 Karol A. Connors et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Feldenkrais Method balance classes on balance and mobility in older adults. This was a prospective non-randomized controlled study with pre/post measures. The setting for this study was the general community. A convenience sample of 26 community-dwelling older adults (median age 75 years) attending Feldenkrais Method balance classes formed the Intervention group. Thirty-seven volunteers were recruited for the Control group (median age 76.5 years). A series of Feldenkrais Method balance classes (the 33312Getting Grounded Gracefully33313 series), two classes per week for 10 weeks, were conducted. Main outcome measures were Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) questionnaire, Four Square Step Test (FSST), self-selected gait speed (using GAITRite instrumented gait mat). At re-testing, the Intervention group showed significant improvement on all of the measures (ABC, P = .016, FSST, P = .001, gait speed, P < .001). The Control group improved significantly on one measure (FSST, P < .001). Compared to the Control group, the Intervention group made a significant improvement in their ABC score (P = .005), gait speed (P = .017) and FSST time (P = .022). These findings suggest that Feldenkrais Method balance classes may improve mobility and balance in older adults.