Montagna (2014) Stroke: balance and Halliwick

Abstract: Introduction: One of the main problems associated with hemiparesis after stroke is the decrease in bal­ance during static and dynamic postures which can highly affect daily life activities.
Objective: To assess the effects of aquatic physiotherapy on the balance and quality of life (SS-QoL) of people with pos stroke.

Methods: Chronic stroke participants received a total of 18 individual sessions of aquatic physiotherapy using the principle of Halliwick (2x of 40 minutes per week). The outcomes measured were: Berg Balance scale, Timed up & go test (TUG), Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QoL) and baropodometric analysis. These assessments were performed before and one week after intervention.

Results: Fifteen participants were included in this study. The mean age was 58.5 and 54% was male. After intervention, participants had a significant improvement on their static balance measured by Berg Balance scale and TUG. Dynamic balance had a significant trend of improvement in mediolateral domain with eyes closed and during sit-to-stand. The mobility domain of the SS-QoL questionnaire was significant higher after intervention.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that aquatic physiotherapy using the method of Halliwick can be a useful tool during stroke rehabilitation to improve balance. However, this improvement may not have significant impact on their quality of life.

Keywords: Stroke, physiotherapy, balance, quality of life

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