Effects of Multisensory Training on Balance and Gait in Persons with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomised Controlled Trial


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12 pp

Purpose: Progressive deterioration of physical function occurs in persons with Type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. This study assessed the effects of multisensory training on balance and gait in persons with diabeticneuropathies.


Method: Thirty two persons with peripheral neuropathies were enrolled, randomised, and subdivided into 2 groups - an experimental group of 16 participants with diabetes (65 ± 2.12 years) and a control group of 16 participants with diabetes (68 ± 2.17 years). For 6 weeks, both groups were given health education on diabetes for 30 minutes a week. In addition, the experimental group practised a multisensory exercise programme for 30 minutes, 3 times a week over 6 weeks. Outcome measures used were ‘timed up and go’ test for assessing balance and ‘6-minute walk’ test for gait. Standard descriptive statistics were used to report means, standard deviation, and range for baseline characteristics. Paired and unpaired ‘t-tests’ were used wherever necessary, to determine significant differences in data among groups and between pre-test and post-test scores (p<0.05).


Results: By the end of the trial period, the intervention group showed a significant improvement in scores of the ‘timed up and go’ test (t= 14.7092), but there was no statistically significant difference in the ‘6-minute walk’ test scores (p=0.7206, t= 0.3644).There was no difference for both measures in the control group.


Conclusion: The study showed that multisensory exercises could improve balance in persons with Type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The findings suggest that along with physiological sensory factors, cognitive-behavioural factors and strengthening of the lower limb muscles should be considered when treating diabetic persons with gait alterations.

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