Efficacy of exercise on balance, fear of falling, and risk of falls in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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De Oliveira Lima, Renata Aparecida
Piemonte, Gabriela Andrade
Nogueira, Célia Regina [UNESP]
Nunes-Nogueira, Vania Dos Santos [UNESP]

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Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication of diabetes mellitus. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of exercise interventions in DPN patients from randomized controlled trials. The primary outcomes were the risk of falls, fear of falling, balance and quality of life. Two reviewers independently selected studies from Embase, Medline, LILACS, CENTRAL, and PEDro. They assessed the risk of bias and extracted data from the trials. The relative risk (RR) and the differences between means (MD) were calculated with a 95% confidence interval (CI) and used as the effect size. We used a random-effects model to pool results across studies, and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation system to evaluate the certainty of evidence. Eight trials were included. No clear effect was observed in the risk of falls (RR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.41 to 2.09, 79 participants, 1 trial, low-certainty evidence). Regarding fear of falling, using the Falls Efficacy Scale, a small difference in favor of the intervention was observed (MD: -2.42, 95%, CI: -4.7 to -0.15, 3 trials, 185 participants, low-certainty evidence). The meta-analysis of balance using the unipedal stance test showed a small difference in favor of the intervention. One study evaluated quality of life, and in the mental score there was a MD in favor of the intervention. In DPN patients, a combination of gait, balance, and functional training improved balance, the fear of falling, quality of life in the mental score, but not the risk of falls.



Balance, Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, Exercise, Falls, Systematic review

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Archives of Endocrinology and Metabolism, v. 65, n. 2, p. 198-211, 2021.