Context: Body sway increases in the elderly due to normal aging and a high incidence of disease such as diabetes. Increased body sway is associated with an elevated risk of falling. Falling is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 6 minutes training of tactile feedback (novel intervention) compared to visual feedback on body sway in the elderly with or without diabetes to develop a new technique for balance training. Design: A single blinded randomized controlled trial. Setting: Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA Participants: 51 subjects: 28 normal healthy older adults and 23 older adults with Type 2 diabetes. Intervention: Subjects were assigned to tactile feedback or visual feedback randomly. Outcome Measures: Body sway was measured using a balance platform. The magnitudes of X and Y coordinates of the subject’s center of gravity were used to calculate body sway. Results: No significant difference between 2 groups using visual feedback or using tactile feedback were found. Results showed a significant reduction in body sway using tactile feedback in elderly while standing on foam with eyes open (1.0± .31 vs. 1.9± .8, p=.006) and eyes closed (1.8± .7 vs. 3.3± 1.5, p=.001). In the group with diabetes, there was a significant reduction in body sway using tactile feedback while standing on foam with eyes closed (1.4± .5 vs. 2.3± .8, p=.045) but not with eyes open. There was a significant reduction in body sway in elderly group with diabetes using visual feedback while standing on foam with feet apart and eyes open (1.3 ± .5 vs. 2.1 ± 1.1; p=.018) and eyes closed (2.0 ± .8 vs 3.1 ± 2.1; p=.003). In elderly group without diabetes, there was a significant reduction in body sway using visual feedback while standing on foam with feet apart and eyes open (1.4 ± .7 vs1.8 ± .9; p=.023), and eyes closed (1.9 ± .9 vs. 3.4 ± 1.8; p=.002). Conclusion: We found that the tactile feedback, a novel technique, improves body balance in elderly with or without diabetes.
School of Allied Health Professions
Petrofsky, Jerrold S.
Daher, Noha S.
Laymon, Michael S.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Aged; Postural Balance; Posture; Motor Activity; Proprioception; Touch Perception;
Subject - Local
Body Sway; Falling; Morbidity and Mortality in the Elderly; Type 2 Diabetes; Visual Feedback
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Alshammari, Faris Shuleih, "Effect of Tactile Feedback on Reducing Body Sway in Elderly" (2015). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 261.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives