Feasibility and outcome of an individualized Tai Chi program for improving balance and strength in the elderly: A pilot study.

Author: Sung WH1, Liu CC1, Wei SH1, Chuang LR2, Chuang E3, Wang KA4, Wang JC5,6
Author Information:
1Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.
2Department of Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan.
3Intended B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
4Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, Shin-Kong Memorial Hospital Taipei, Taiwan.
5Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
6School of Medicine, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: NeuroRehabilitation.
Date published: 2018 Oct 30
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.3233/NRE-162061. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 204

BACKGROUND: Traditional Tai Chi is too complex for most elderly individuals. There have been few reports regarding the development of simplified Tai Chi programs to suit the physical needs of elderly adults. However, these programs were not individualized according to the participants' balance control abilities.

OBJECTIVE: Purpose of this study is to develop an individualized Tai Chi program and report the feasibility of the program.

METHODS: Phase 1: Five Tai Chi masters performed the Tai Chi movements on a force platform. Based on the results of center of pressure displacement and the individual's balance abilities, an individualized program was developed.Phase 2: Ten community-dwelling older adults received 24 half-hour-sessions, using the individualized Tai Chi exercise program. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) score, Timed Up & Go (TUG) test, forward reach, and strength of the knee extensor were determined before and after intervention.

RESULTS: Participants achieved improved performance on balance control as measured with BBS (p≤0.001), TUG (p = 0.004) and forward reach (p = 0.035) as well as knee extensor strength (p = 0.002) after the program.

CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary result suggests that the individualized Tai Chi program is potentially effective to improve balance function and knee extensor strength of the elderly.

KEYWORDS: Exercise therapy; Tai Chi; postural balance; rehabilitation

PMID: 30400109 DOI: 10.3233/NRE-162061