Introduction: Accidental fall is a serious problem in older adults. The incidence of accidental fall increases by any dysfunction in the proprioceptive system. The function of the proprioceptive system usually is much affected in people with diabetes mellitus (DM), particularly in older ages. However, proprioceptive exercise significantly improves the balance control in older adults, no systematic review demonstrated its effectiveness in improving the balance control in older adults with DM. Thus, this systematic review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of adding proprioceptive exercise to any balance training in older adults with DM.
Methods: A systematic search was performed in five major databases. The inclusion criteria of this search included older adults, DM, peripheral neuropathy, randomized control trial, and proprioceptive dysfunction. The exclusion criterion of this search included any study that its participants had a history of a disease that might affect the balance control such as ataxia, stroke, Parkinsonism. The outcome of interest was the importance of including proprioceptive exercise in increasing the effectiveness of balance training in older adults with DM.
Results: Nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. Seven studies of these nine studies included the randomization details. Only two studies included the blindness, and only one of them included double blindness. The description of the withdrawal of participants was shown in eight studies. All the included studies used a control group and accomplished the homogeny between subjects in both groups.
Conclusion: This systematic review showed that proprioceptive exercise is a vital component that should be included in any balance training to gain short-term improvement in the balance control in older adults with DM.