The effects of an integrated mindfulness-based tai chi chuan programme on sleep disturbance among community-dwelling elderly people: protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Author: Sunny Ho-Wan Chan1, Siu-Man Ng2, Chong-Ho Yu3, Ching-Man Chan4, Shu-Mei Wang5, Wai-Chi Chan6
1 School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
2 Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong.
3 Department of Psychology, The Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, USA.
4 Division of Elderly Service, Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong.
5 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 11 Yuk Choi Rd, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
6 Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong.
Conference/Journal: Trials
Date published: 2022 Sep 24
Other: Volume ID: 23 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 808 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06737-4. , Word Count: 312

Many elderly individuals who experience sleep disturbances would consider complementary and alternative medicine as an alternative therapeutic option in light of the limitations of traditional treatments. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) and Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) are two alternative forms of complementary and alternative medicine. They both share the common feature of a focus on breathing but represent distinct approaches with different mechanisms and philosophical orientations. The trial described in this protocol aims to evaluate the effects of an integrated form of mindfulness-based Tai Chi Chuan (MBTCC) programme and the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial effects over a 12-month follow-up.

The planned study is a four-armed randomized controlled trial with repeated measures. A total of 256 community-dwelling older adults with sleep problems will be recruited and randomized into four groups: (1) an MBTCC group, (2) an MBI group, (3) a TCC group, and (4) a sleep hygiene education (SHE) control group. The outcome measures in terms of insomnia severity, interoception, sleep-wake pattern, health status, rumination, and hyperarousal level will be collected at four time points: at baseline (T1), after the 8-week intervention (T2), 6 months after the intervention (T3), and 1 year after the intervention (T4). In addition, qualitative evaluation through focus group interviews will be conducted at the end of the 12-month assessment period (T4).

This trial will illuminate the synergetic effect of combining both MBIs and TCC on optimizing improvements in sleep disturbance. The findings from this study can provide empirical support for this integrated treatment, which provides an alternative for healthcare professionals in elderly service to select appropriate practices to treat elderly people with sleep disturbance. It can further help to lessen the growing public health burden of sleep disturbances among the elderly living in the community.

Trial registration: . NCT05396092 . Published on 24 May 2022.

Keywords: Community-dwelling elderly; Mind-body interventions; Mindfulness-based tai chi chuan; Randomized controlled trial; Sleep disturbance.

PMID: 36153623 DOI: 10.1186/s13063-022-06737-4