Objective: To explore if an intensive balance training protocol that incorporated the BrainPort sensory substitution device improves the standing postural balance of children with balance disorders. Methods: Eight children with balance disorders received 8-weeks of balance training while using the BrainPort device. Pre- and post-intervention changes in the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency balance subtest (BOT-2) scores, standing duration on an unstable surface, and center of pressure (COP) sway were assessed. Results: Post-intervention, the BOT-2 balance subtest scores increased by 29.6% and demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements. Overall, the standing duration with vision increased. The standing duration on the unstable surface without vision increased significantly from pre- to post-intervention. However, anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) sway did not change post-intervention. The children also reported new functional activities (i.e. riding a bike, standing on unsteady or narrow surfaces). Conclusion: Balance training with the BrainPort sensory substitution device has the potential to result in clinically relevant improvements in the standing postural balance of children with balance disorders.
- developmental coordination disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation