Tai chi as an adjunctive therapy for individuals who plateau after vestibular rehabilitation

Author: K Chow1, L Lei-Rivera2, M K Cosetti2, J L Kelly2
1 Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, USA.
2 Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Laryngol Otol
Date published: 2023 Jun 1
Other: Volume ID: 137 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 651-660 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1017/S0022215122001785. , Word Count: 180

This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of tai chi on balance in patients with improved but persistent dizziness and imbalance following completion of traditional vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Patients who completed vestibular rehabilitation therapy with persistent imbalance were prospectively enrolled in a tai chi programme comprising eight weekly classes. Balance was assessed before the first and after the eighth session using the Dynamic Gait Index, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scale and Dizziness Handicap Inventory.

A total of 37 participants (34 females, 3 males) completed the programme with balance testing. Mean age was 76.8 years (range, 56-91 years). Mean Dynamic Gait Index significantly increased after completion of tai chi (p < 0.00001). Mean Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scale score increased from 63.6 to 67.9 per cent (p = 0.046). A subset (n = 18) of patients completed a Dizziness Handicap Inventory without significant post-therapeutic change (p = 0.62). Most (36 of 37; 97.3 per cent) patients demonstrated post-therapy improvement on one or more assessments.

Tai chi is a viable adjunct to improve balance in patients who complete a vestibular rehabilitation therapy programme.

Keywords: Accidental Falls; Dizziness; Postural Balance; Tai Ji; Vestibular System.

PMID: 35916256 DOI: 10.1017/S0022215122001785