Balance and gait evaluation: Comparative study between deaf and hearing students

Renato de Souza Melo, Polyanna Waleska A. da Silva, Rafael Miranda Tassitano, Carla Fabiana S.T. Macky, Lícia Vasconcelos C. da Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the body balance and gait of deaf and hearing students and to compare data between groups, considering the gender and the age of the sample. Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated 44 deaf students and 44 hearing ones aged seven to 17 years-old. The evaluation of balance and gait characteristics was performed using the Tinetti Balance and Mobility Scale and the gait velocity with the test Timed Up and Go. For data analysis, two statistical approaches were applied: the Student's t-test to evaluate balance and the chi-square or Fisher's exact test to evaluate gait. Results: The results from the balance evaluation did not show significant differences between groups, genders or age groups; however, the deaf scholars had worse performance on clinic balance in all categories. In the evaluation of gait characteristics, there were significant differences between groups (p<0.001), genders (p<0.001), and age groups: 7-10 years-old (p=0.022) and 11-17 years-old (p<0.001). With respect to gait speed, results showed significant differences between groups only for female students (p=0.027) aged 7-10 years-old (p<0.001). Conclusions: Deaf students presented changes in gait and higher risk of falls compared with the hearing ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Paulista de Pediatria
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Child
  • Deafness
  • Gait
  • Hearing loss
  • Postural balance
  • Sensorineural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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