Randomized controlled trial of balance training for fall reduction in individuals with COPD

People living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have important problems with their balance and a high incidence of falls compared to those of a similar age. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of a balance training program on falls in patients with COPD enrolled in a respiratory rehabilitation program. Three hundred and eighty patients with COPD who report problems with their balance or had a fall in the last 2 years will be randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The treatment group will receive balance training along with their usual respiratory rehabilitation program. The control group will receive only the respiratory rehabilitation program. We will then record falls at 12 months using monthly fall diary calendars. We will also test patients’ balance and strength and administer questionnaires on balance confidence and quality of life. This study will determine if balance training reduces the rate of falls in people with COPD.

Dr. Dina Brook from the University of Toronto is principal investigatorĀ and Dr. Feng Xie is a co-investigator on this trial.