JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Tai Chi and fall reductions in older adults: a randomized controlled trial

Fuzhong Li, Peter Harmer, K John Fisher, Edward McAuley, Nigel Chaumeton, Elizabeth Eckstrom, Nicole L Wilson
Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2005, 60 (2): 187-94
15814861

BACKGROUND: The authors' objective was to evaluate the efficacy of a 6-month Tai Chi intervention for decreasing the number of falls and the risk for falling in older persons.

METHODS: This randomized controlled trial involved a sample of 256 physically inactive, community-dwelling adults aged 70 to 92 (mean age, 77.48 years; standard deviation, 4.95 years) who were recruited through a patient database in Portland, Oregon. Participants were randomized to participate in a three-times-per-week Tai Chi group or to a stretching control group for 6 months. The primary outcome measure was the number of falls; the secondary outcome measures included functional balance (Berg Balance Scale, Dynamic Gait Index, Functional Reach, and single-leg standing), physical performance (50-foot speed walk, Up&Go), and fear of falling, assessed at baseline, 3 months, 6 months (intervention termination), and at a 6-month postintervention follow-up.

RESULTS: At the end of the 6-month intervention, significantly fewer falls (n=38 vs 73; p=.007), lower proportions of fallers (28% vs 46%; p=.01), and fewer injurious falls (7% vs 18%; p=.03) were observed in the Tai Chi group compared with the stretching control group. After adjusting for baseline covariates, the risk for multiple falls in the Tai Chi group was 55% lower than that of the stretching control group (risk ratio,.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.30 to 0.70). Compared with the stretching control participants, the Tai Chi participants showed significant improvements (p<.001) in all measures of functional balance, physical performance, and reduced fear of falling. Intervention gains in these measures were maintained at a 6-month postintervention follow-up in the Tai Chi group.

CONCLUSIONS: A three-times-per-week, 6-month Tai Chi program is effective in decreasing the number of falls, the risk for falling, and the fear of falling, and it improves functional balance and physical performance in physically inactive persons aged 70 years or older.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
15814861
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"