Is Tai Chi an effective intervention for enhancing health-related quality of life in older people with mild cognitive impairment? An interventional study

Author: Mei-Yi Siu1, Diana T F Lee2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> School of Nursing, Union Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China. <sup>2</sup> The Nethersole School of Nursing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Conference/Journal: Int J Older People Nurs
Date published: 2021 Jul 13
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/opn.12400. , Word Count: 311

Many neuropsychiatric symptoms in persons of MCI cause negative impacts on their HRQOL. There is limited HRQOL research investigating the effect of Tai Chi on older people with MCI.

To determine the effectiveness of a Tai Chi program in enhancing health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among community-dwelling older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Hong Kong.

This was a quasi-experimental study using a nonequivalent control group (CG) design. Four social centres for older people participated in the study, of which two centres were randomised for Tai Chi intervention and the other two were treated as control. Participants in the intervention group (IG) were arranged for a 1-hour Tai Chi class twice weekly for 16 weeks, whereas participants in the CG were advised to join various recreational activities in the social centres as usual. For outcome evaluation, the Chinese version of the Short Form-12 Health Survey-Standard 1 (SF-12) was employed to assess participants' perceived HRQOL.

One hundred and sixty participants were recruited (IG = 80, CG = 80). Data were collected at baseline (T0) and 16-week post-intervention (T1).The IG reported significant improvement in the physical health component (PCS) (p = .036), the mental health component (MCS) (p = .014), as well as several subscales of SF-12, namely, the role-physical (RP) (p = .044), the bodily pain (BP) (p < .001) and the vitality (VT) (p = .004) subscales, in comparison with the CG.

The current study results extended our knowledge about Tai Chi of which the mind-body exercise could enhance the physical and psychosocial well-being in older people with MCI.

Implications for practice:
The findings have the potential to inform health and social care professionals to promote Tai Chi in community settings, as it may represent a non-intensive and age-fitting strategy to promote HRQOL in older people with MCI.

Trial registration:
NCT03404765 (Retrospectively registered January 19, 2018).

Keywords: Tai Chi; health-related quality of life; mild cognitive impairment; neuropsychiatric symptoms.

PMID: 34254731 DOI: 10.1111/opn.12400