Short-term effect of low-intensity, pulsed, electromagnetic fields on gait characteristics in older adults with low bone mineral density: A pilot randomized-controlled trial
Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 08/03/2012
Giusti A et al. – This is the first randomized–controlled trial showing the potential beneficial effects of pulsed, electromagnetic fields on gait characteristics in older adults.Methods
- In a single-center, double-blind, randomized-controlled trial, community-dwelling older adults aged ≥70 years were randomized (3:2 ratio) to receive a 10-min treatment with PEF (mean intensity 1.5 mW) or placebo.
- The following gait parameters were assessed at baseline and just after the intervention/placebo with the GAITRite Portable Walkway system: self-selected gait speed (cm/s), stride length (cm), support base (cm) and double support phase (s).
- In the intervention group (25 patients), both self-selected gait speed and stride length increased significantly from baseline, whereas the double support phase decreased.
- In the placebo group, all gait parameters except for support base remained unchanged.
- The mean percent increase (±standard deviation) of self-selected gait speed was significantly (P = 0.010) greater in the intervention group (20.1 ± 15.6) compared with the placebo group (10.5 ± 13.1), whereas no significant difference in the mean percent variation of the other parameters was found between the two groups.
- During the intervention, no adverse event was observed.
- A similar proportion of patients in the two groups reported one fall in the 30 days after the intervention/placebo.