Comparison of static balance and mobility between nursing home residents and community-dwelling elderly.
Background: Postural control is considered to be a complex motor skill derived from the interaction of multiple sensorimotor processes. Objectives: To compare the static balance and mobility of nursing home residents with community-dwelling elderly and verify which confounders imply in a worse postural balance on nursing home residents. Methods: Were included elderly aged 60 and more, both sexes, living at nursing homes (NHs) and at the community. The static balance was evaluated by a force platform and the mobility by the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). The confounders available were length of institutionalization, age, gender, body mass index, number of falls and number of medication. Comparisons were made by unpaired t-tests and by the Mann-Whitney test. The risk of falls was evaluated by Fisher’s Exact Test. Pearson or Spearman correlation analysis was performed to identify the independent variables with a significant relationship with the dependent variables. The simple linear regression analysis and R2 was analyzed to ascertain the coefficient of determination of the percentage variation. A value of p≤0.05 was considered significant. Results: 21 nursing home residents and 21 community-dwelling elderly were included. The NHs residents presented significantly higher values of COP oscillation than the community group (total displacement: p=0.0002; mean velocity: p=0.001, 95% ellipse area: p=0,04, and standard deviation in the frontal plane: p=0.01). The NHs group presented longer time to perform the TUG test than the community group (17.28±4.5 s and 13.21±3.9 s, p=0.002). Was observed that the number of medications showed a significant correlation with the TUG (r=0.52; p=0.01), and none variable showed correlation with the static balance. Conclusion: The results showed that the nursing home residents with a normal cognitive condition had greater center of gravity oscillation, worse mobility, and higher risk of falls than community elders. In addition, it was found that in nursing home residents, the ingestion of five or more drugs had relation with mobility.