PHYSIOTHERAPY THEORY AND PRACTICE, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Background The decline in ambulatory activities and negative alterations in gait characteristics may impair balance and increase fall risk in obstructive lung diseases. Few studies have evaluated balance and gait parameters in individuals with bronchiectasis. Purpose This study aimed to compare the gait parameters and functional balance in individuals with non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis and healthy subjects. Methods This cross-sectional and retrospective study analyzed data from 22 individuals with non-CF bronchiectasis and 32 healthy controls recorded between July 2019 and July 2020. Functional balance was assessed using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Gait parameters were evaluated using the Biodex Gait Trainer. Step cycle (s), gait speed (m/s), the number of steps per minute, and ambulation index were measured for 6 min. Results The TUG time (s) was significantly longer (p = .019, effect size = 0.66), and gait speed (m/s) (p < 0.001, effect size = 2.47), step cycle (s) (p < 0.001, effect size = 2.23), and ambulation index (p < 0.001, effect size = 2.56) were significantly reduced in individuals with non-CF bronchiectasis compared with healthy controls. Conclusion Non-CF bronchiectasis is related to unfavorable changes in gait characteristics, such as slower gait speed and the decreased average step cycle. In addition, impairment in functional balance and mobility exists in a small percentage of adults with non-CF bronchiectasis. In comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation, balance and gait evaluations should be included to prevent falls in adults with non-CF bronchiectasis.