Effects of a Tai Chi-Based Stroke Rehabilitation Program on Symptom Clusters, Physical and Cognitive Functions, and Quality of Life: A Randomized Feasibility Study

Author: Rhayun Song1, Moonkyoung Park1, Taejeong Jang2, Jiwon Oh1, Min Kyun Sohn3
1 College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Korea.
2 College of Nursing, Woosuk University, Wanju 55338, Korea.
3 College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Korea.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2021 May 20
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Issue ID: 10 , Pages: 5453 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph18105453. , Word Count: 215

Stroke survivors suffer from disease-associated symptoms. Tai Chi can be a beneficial approach to provide an adapted form of intervention to manage their symptoms. The study aimed to determine the effects of a Tai Chi-based stroke rehabilitation program on symptom clusters, physical and cognitive functions, and stroke-specific quality of life among stroke survivors in Korea. Thirty-four stroke survivors were randomly assigned to receive either the Tai Chi-based program or the stroke-symptom management program. The feasibility of the program and its effects on the outcomes were assessed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Repeated measures ANOVA showed that most symptoms improved in both groups during the 6-month period, but swallowing-related symptoms improved significantly in the Tai Chi group. Based on the interaction effect, Tai Chi was more effective on flexor muscle strength, ambulation, and activities of daily living and cognitive function over 6 months than their counterparts. Among SS-QOL dimensions, the Tai Chi group showed significant improvements in the thinking and self-care dimensions. The Tai Chi-based stroke rehabilitation program was feasible and safely applicable to stroke survivors in the community settings. This program could improve symptoms, physical and cognitive function, leading to improvements in the self-care dimension of the SS-QOL among stroke survivors.

Keywords: Tai Chi; physical functional performance; quality of life; stroke; symptom cluster.

PMID: 34065178 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18105453