Postural control dysfunction and balance rehabilitation in older adults with mild cognitive impairment

Xuan Liu, Michelle H. Chen, Guang H. Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at an increased risk for falls and fall-related injuries. It is unclear whether current balance rehabilitation techniques largely developed in cognitively intact populations would be successful in older adults with MCI. This mapping review examined the available balance rehabilitation research conducted in older adults with MCI. Databases Medline, Cinahl, Cochrane, PubMed, Scopus, and PsycINFO were systematically searched from inception to August 2020. Twenty-one studies with 16 original randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1201 older adults with MCI (>age 60) met the inclusion criteria, of which 17 studies showed significant treatment effects on balance functions. However, only six studies demonstrated adequate quality (at least single-blind, no significant dropouts, and intervention and control groups are equivalent at baseline) and evidence (medium or large effect size on at least one balance outcome) in improving balance in this population, and none of them are double-or triple-blind. Therefore, more high-quality RCTs are needed to inform future balance rehabilitation program development for older adults with MCI. Moreover, few studies examined the incidence of falls after the intervention, which limits clinical utility. Future RCTs should prospectively monitor falls or changes in risk of falls after the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number873
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Balance rehabilitation
  • Falls
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Postural control


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