Tai Chi and Parkinson's Disease

Author: Schwartzman L
Affiliation: Los Angeles, California, USA
Conference/Journal: 2nd World Congress Qigong
Date published: 1998
Other: Pages: 48 , Word Count: 274

Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) enrolled in a 10-week course in Tai Chi. All enrolled participants were invited by mail to participate in a prospective study to determine the use of Tai Chi would improve self-reported quality of life. Individuals who self selected participation in the research study were seen the week prior to the beginning of the Tai Chi instruction to provide informed consent for a Parkinson's motor evaluation and to complete quality of life report instruments. To be included in the study, individuals must have 2 of the 4 CAPlT criteria for the study and provided informed consent. Seventeen individuals met the criteria for the study and provided informed consent. Seventeen individuals complete all ten weeks of the course and attended 3 follow up sessions. Only 10 individuals were seen for post study motor evaluations. Quality of Life was evaluated using PDQALlF (Parkinson's disease Quality of Life Instrument) and the BDI (Back Depression Inventory). Disease severity and staging were evaluated by the UPDRS and the Hoehn and Yahr Soale. Age ranged from 46-68 F (x=65.8) and the participants had PD for an average of 7.6 years (range 1-28 years). Subjects were predominantly male 10 (59%). Prior to 10 weeks of Tai Chi instruction, the overall group of subjects were mildly depressed. Mean BDI Following 10 weeks of Tai Chi mean depression scores declined to 6.8. Thirteen of 17 participants reported improved or stable depression. Nine of these 13 reported 25-50% improvement in their depression. Overall, self reported quality of life improved but was not statistically significant. This pilot study suggests that participation in Tai Chi may have promise as an adjunctive strategy for improving depression and overall quality of life in individuals with PD.