Last updated on January 2008

Comorbidity Between Balance and Childhood Anxiety

Brief description of study

Previous studies report frequent comorbidity of anxiety and sensory-motor imbalance in adults (Sklare et al., 2001). Only a few studies tested the comorbidity in children. We confirmed that: a) children with primary diagnosis of poor balance demonstrate an elevated anxiety level (Brat et al., 2006, submitted) and, b) children with primary diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder demonstrate poor balance performance (Erez et al., 2004). These studies demonstrate the presence of balance-anxiety comorbidity in children with primary disorder of either balance or anxiety. Our theoretical reasoning formalized under the "three stage theory of learning" points to the possibility that poor balance may either predispose or cause the emergence of anxiety disorder (Erez et al., 2004). Thus, in the present study we test two predictions: (a) high prevalence of comorbidity of anxiety and balance disorders in children with a primary diagnosis of generalized or separation anxiety disorder, and, (b) intensive balance training, but not training of flexibility and power, will reduce the level of anxiety in children with primary diagnosis of anxiety.

Detailed Study Description

Study sample: 64 children, 8 to 14 years old, with diagnosis of generalized or separation anxiety. Training: 32 of these children will undergo balance training and the other 32 children will undergo motor training of power and flexibility. Training will last 7 weeks, twice per week, 1 hr each session. Tests: Balance and anxiety tests will be applied before training period, immediately after the last training session and again 2 months after the last training session. Tests will include standard balance performance tests and questionnaires of anxiety.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00599742

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