Rapid conversion of Tai Chi classes from face-to-face to virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic: A quality improvement project

Author: Linda M Sawyer1,2, Lana M Brown1,2, Shelly Y Lensing1,3, Donna McFadden1, Melinda M Bopp1, Ileina Ferrier1, Dennis H Sullivan1,4
1 Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
2 College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
3 Department of Biostatistics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
4 Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
Conference/Journal: Nurs Forum
Date published: 2022 Jan 10
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/nuf.12690. , Word Count: 206

The purpose of this quality improvement project was to examine the feasibility of rapidly converting a Tai Chi program for older Veterans from face-to-face to virtual classes.

Eighteen Veterans attending our face-to-face Tai Chi course were invited to transition to virtual classes. Feasibility was defined as the ability of program staff and participants to successfully connect and complete the initial and subsequent classes by VA Video Connect (VVC) with little to no technical difficulties, participant ability to participate in the course without safety concerns, and favorable feedback from participants and program staff.

Nine of 18 Veterans agreed to transition to the virtual program and attended a median (interquartile range) of 11 (4-15) classes; they were younger (62.7 + 11.5 vs. 70.5 + 7.0 years, p < .05) and more likely to have the knowledge and equipment needed to participate (78% vs. 0%, p < .01) than nonparticipants. Tai Chi instructors and participating Veterans reported being able to connect to and complete the classes virtually with only minimal technical problems. No adverse events were reported. Feedback from the instructors and Veterans was positive and included comments on ease of use and enjoyability.

Results suggest that virtual Tai Chi classes via VVC are feasible for some older Veterans.

Keywords: Tai Chi; Telehealth; geriatrics.

PMID: 35005787 DOI: 10.1111/nuf.12690