Gait abnormality is a serious problem among hemodialysis patients. Whole-body vibration is a simple exercise that induces sustained muscular contractions through mechanical vibrations. This training improved gait ability in older adults. We aimed to investigate the effect of whole-body vibration on balance and gait ability in older hemodialysis patients.
We conducted a 12-week, open-label, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of 98 hemodialysis patients, who were aged ≥65 years, from three dialysis centers in Japan. Those who had difficulty walking alone or dementia were excluded. Patients were randomly allocated to the whole-body vibration group or control group. The training was performed for 3 minutes thrice a week on dialysis days. The primary outcome was the Timed Up and Go test. The secondary outcomes were the single-leg stand test and 30-second chair stand test.
The mean (SD) age of the participants was 76 (7) years. The mean (SD) Timed Up and Go test was 12.0 (6.6) and 11.8 (7.0) seconds in the whole-body vibration and control groups, respectively. During the 12-week study period, 6 (12%) of 49 patients in the whole-body vibration group and 3 (6%) of 49 patients in the control group dropped out. In the whole-body vibration group, 42 (86% of the randomly allocated patients) completed the training according to the protocol. The mean (SD) changes in the Timed Up and Go test were −1.1 (4.0) and −1.4 (4.4) seconds in the whole-body vibration and control groups, respectively (change, 0.3 seconds in the whole-body vibration group; 95% confidence interval, −1.4 to 2.0; P=0.71). The changes in the single-leg stand test and 30-second chair stand test did not differ significantly between groups. There were no musculoskeletal adverse events directly related to this training.
Whole-body vibration did not improve balance and gait ability.
Clinical Trial registry name and registration number:
Effect of Whole Body Vibration on Walking Performance in Elderly Hemodialysis Patients NCT04774731.