A review of balance and gait capacities in relation to falls in persons with intellectual disability.
until further notice
SourceResearch in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1, (2012), pp. 291-306
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Research in Developmental Disabilities
SubjectNCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue DCN PAC - Perception action and control; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
Limitations in mobility are common in persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). As balance and gait capacities are key aspects of mobility, the prevalence of balance and gait problems is also expected to be high in this population. The objective of this study was to critically review the available literature on balance and gait characteristics in persons with ID. Furthermore, the consequences of balance and gait problems in relation to falls were studied, as well as the trainability of balance and gait in persons with ID. The systematic literature search identified 48 articles to be included in this review. The literature consistently reports that balance and gait capacities are affected in persons with ID compared to their age-matched peers. These problems start at a young age and remain present during the entire lifespan of persons with ID, with a relatively early occurrence of age-related decline. From these results a conceptual model was suggested in which the development of balance and gait capacities in the ID population across the life span are compared to the general population. Regarding the second objective, our review showed that, although the relationship of balance and gait problems with falls has not yet been thoroughly investigated in persons with ID, there is some preliminary evidence that these aspects are also important in the ID population. Finally, this review demonstrates that balance and gait are potentially trainable in persons with ID. These results suggest that falls might be prevented with ID-specific exercise interventions.
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