JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The effectiveness of Tai Chi on the physical and psychological well-being of college students: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Guohua Zheng, Xiulu Lan, Moyi Li, Kun Ling, Hui Lin, Lidian Chen, Jing Tao, Junzhe Li, Xin Zheng, Bai Chen, Qianying Fang
Trials 2014 April 17, 15: 129
24742146

BACKGROUND: The physical and mental health of college-age youths tends to continuously decline around the world. It is therefore important to promote health during this period. As a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise, Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) may be an available selection. However for the college student population, the evidence is unclear as to whether TCC can be recommended as an effective exercise for promoting their physical and psychological wellbeing. Therefore high quality, rigorous, prospective, and well-controlled randomized trials are needed to further understand TCC serving as a psychological and physical intervention in college age populations.

METHOD/DESIGN: We designed a randomized, single-blind, parallel-controlled trial with a sample size of 206 participants. All the participants who meet the inclusion criteria come from Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (FJTCM). Participants of the TCC training group will receive TCC training at a frequency of five days per week for one hour per day for 12 weeks. No specific exercise will be administered on the participants in the control group. Both physical and mental health outcomes, including balance ability, lower limb proprioception, flexibility, physical fitness, self-efficacy, psychological symptoms, attention span, stress, self-esteem, mood and mindfulness, quality of life, and quality of sleep. Safety outcomes will be evaluated by blinded operators at baseline, 12 and 24-weeks post-intervention.

DISCUSSION: This protocol presents an objective design of a randomized, single-blind trial that will test the effectiveness and safety of TCC on the physical and psychological wellbeing of college students. If the outcome is positive, the results will provide higher quality evidence of TCC on the physical and mental health of college age populations.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR-TRC-13003328.

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