Subjective perceived impact of Tai Chi training on physical and mental health among community older adults at risk for ischemic stroke: a qualitative study.

Author: Zheng G1, Xiong Z2, Zheng X2, Li J2, Duan T3, Qi D3, Ling K3, Chen L4
1College of Health Information Technology and Management, Shanghai University of Medicine & Health Sciences, Shanghai, 201318, China.
2College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, 350122, China.
3Department of Physical Education, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese, Medicine, Fuzhou, 350122, China.
4Fujian Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technology, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, 350122, China.
Conference/Journal: BMC Complement Altern Med.
Date published: 2017 Apr 20
Other: Volume ID: 17 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 221 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1694-3. , Word Count: 280

BACKGROUND: Evidence from quantitative studies suggest that Tai Chi produces a variety of health-related benefits, but few qualitative studies have investigated how older adults perceive the benefit of Tai Chi. The objective of the current study was to qualitatively evaluate the perceived benefits of Tai Chi practice among community older population.

METHODS: This study was conducted with participants from a trial examining the effects of a 12-week Tai Chi training on ischemic stroke risk in community older adults (n = 170). A total of 20 participants were randomly selected from a convenience sample of participants who had completed 12-week Tai Chi training (n = 68) were interviewed regarding their perceived benefit on physical and mental health and whether Tai Chi exercise was suitable for the elderly.

RESULTS: All participants agreed that Tai Chi training could relax their body and make them comfortable. Most of them thought Tai Chi training could promote physical health, including relieving pain, enhancing digestion, strengthening immunity, enhancing energy and improving sleep quality, enhancing their mental and emotional state (e.g. improving mood and reducing anxiety, improving concentration and promoting interpersonal relationship). Most of participants also agreed that Tai Chi exercise was appropriate for community older people. Three primary themes emerged from content analysis: Improving physical health; Enhancing mental and emotional state; Conforming with the request of the elderly.

CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that regular Tai Chi exercise may have positive benefits in terms of improved physical health and mental state among community elderly population, and may be useful and feasible body-mind exercise to community elderly population for its positive effects and advantages.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ChiCTR ChiCTR-TRC-13003601 . Registered 23 July 2014.

KEYWORDS: Perceived benefit; Qualitative study; Tai chi

PMID: 28427459 DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1694-3