Balance and Ankle Range of Motion in Community-Dwelling Women Aged 64 to 87 Years: A Correlational Study
Background and Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between balance measures and ankle range of motion (ROM) in community-dwelling elderly women with no health problems. Identifi- cation of modifiable factors associated with balance may enable clinicians to design treatments to help reduce the risk of falls in elderly people.
Subjects: The sample consisted of 34 women between the ages of 64 and 87 years.
Methods: Goniometry was used to determine bilateral ankle active-assistive range of motion (AAROM) and passive range of motion. Balance capabilities were measured with the Functional Reach Test (FRT) and the Tinetti Performance-Ori- ented Mobility Assessment (POMA). Balance data for the FRT, POMA balance subtest, POMA gait subtest, and POMA total score were correlated with ankle ROM using the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (PCC).
Results: Correlations between ROM and balance scores were found, ranging from .29 to .63. The POMA gait subtest and FRT resulted in higher correlations with ROM than did the POMA balance subtest (left total AAROM PCC=.63, .51, and .31). Correlations using composite ankle ROM scores were higher than individual motions. The strongest correlation existed between bilat- eral, total ankle AAROM and the POMA gait subtest scores (PCC=.63)
Conclusion and Discussion: Correlations exist between ankle ROM and balance in community-dwelling elderly women. Additional research is needed to determine whether treatment directed at increasing ankle ROM can improve balance. [Mecagni C, Smith JP, Roberts KE, O’Sullivan SB. Balance and ankle range of motion in community- dwelling women aged 64 to 87 years: a correlational study. Phys Ther. 2000;80:1004 –1011.]