Effectiveness of physical therapy in association with dance in healthy elderly: a randomized clinical trial
Objective: Verify the physical therapy associated with dance effectiveness in terms of balance, flexibility and agility in healthy seniors. Methods: Randomized controlled trial whose sample was divided into two groups: control (GC; 7W/4M; age= 74.1±7.3; n=11) and intervention (GI; 9W/2M; age= 75.7±7.8; n=11). Participants underwent the following types of evaluation in pre and post intervention phases: balance assessment by Berg balance scale, agility according to the Timed Up and Go test and flexibility according to the Wells Bank. A program consisting of 16 therapies with 60 minutes long twice a week followed a protocol of evolution based on the complexity of the exercises and with the aim of stimulating balance, functional independence and muscle stretching. The statistical analysis was performed using software SPSS 15.0 and were used the Mann-Whitney test to compare the groups and Wilcoxon tests to compare pre and post intervention, with significance level of 5%. Results: The intervention group showed improved balance (p=0.04), flexibility (p=0.01) and agility (p=0.03) when compared to the control group. The control group showed improvement in the flexibility levels (p=0.01). Conclusion: The proposed program was effective in terms of improving balance, flexibility and agility among participants. It is expected that this study can contribute to future research and clinical practice about the association of physical therapy and dance, as a preventive and rehabilitative treatment options.