JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Tai chi qigong as a means to improve night-time sleep quality among older adults with cognitive impairment: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Aileen Wk Chan, Doris Sf Yu, K C Choi, Diana Tf Lee, Janet Wh Sit, Helen Yl Chan
Clinical Interventions in Aging 2016, 11: 1277-1286
27698557

PURPOSE: Age-related cognitivee decline is a growing public health concern worldwide. More than a quarter of adults with cognitive impairment experience sleep disturbance. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the preliminary effects of tai chi qigong (TCQ) on improving the night-time sleep quality of older adults with cognitive impairment.

PARTICIPANTS: Older adults with cognitive impairment who complain of sleep disturbance.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial with two groups. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from two district elderly community centers and randomly assigned to either the TCQ group (n=27) or the control group (n=25). The intervention group received TCQ training consisting of two 60-minute sessions each week for 2 months. The control group was advised to maintain their usual activities. Sleep quality was measured by the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Quality of life was measured by Short-form 12, cognitive functions measured by mini-mental state examination, and subjective memory deficits measured by the memory inventory for Chinese.

RESULTS: Data were collected at baseline, 2 months, and 6 months. Significant results were noted at 6 months in the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index global score (P=0.004), sleep duration (P=0.003), habitual sleep efficiency (P=0.002), and the Short-form 12 mental health component (P<0.001). The TCQ participants reported better sleep quality and a better (quality of life) mental health component than the control group.

CONCLUSION: TCQ can be considered a useful nonpharmacological approach for improving sleep quality in older adults with cognitive impairment.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: CUHK_CCT00448 (https://www2.ccrb.cuhk.edu.hk/registry/public/287).

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