Older adults experience reduced quality of life (QOL). Vibration training has been applied in older adults. However, it remains inconclusive whether vibration training improves QOL in this population. This review summarized the effects of vibration training in changing eight domains of the Short Form-36 (SF-36) among older adults.
Five randomized controlled trials enrolling 212 participants were included. The mean difference (MD) was calculated as the effect size measurement. Meta-analyses were completed for each of the eight SF-36 domains.
Relative to control groups, vibration training is more effective in improving five QOL domains: physical function (MD = 15.61, p < 0.001), physical role limitations (MD = 12.71, p = 0.001), general health (MD = 10.59, p < 0.001), social function (MD = 11.60, p < 0.001), and vitality (MD = 6.86, p = 0.002). Vibration training may not lead to greater improvements for the other three domains (MD = 0.13–3.25, p values = 0.21–0.96) than the control groups. Vibration training showed a low attrition rate of 7.1%.
Vibration training programs may significantly improve five of eight SF-36 QOL domains. While three domains did not demonstrate significant improvements, results were slightly in favor of vibration training compared to the control groups. More rigorous studies are necessary to further confirm the effectiveness of vibration training on QOL in older adults.