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How Dementia Patients and Their Caregivers Adhere to Tai Chi Practice


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September 26, 2020 - A recent British study published by the journal Dementia investigated what influenced people living with dementia and their family care-givers' adherence to the home-based component of a Tai Chi exercise intervention.

Pairs of people living with dementia and their family care-givers, who participated in the intervention arm of the Tai Chi for people living with dementia trial, were invited to join weekly Tai Chi classes for 20 weeks and practice at home. Semi-structured dyadic home interviews were conducted on average after 16 weeks of classes. The views of 15 pairs with a range of home practice adherence were sought in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach.

Most participants found time to practice Tai Chi at home and practiced for 18 hours on average. Amongst the barriers to adherence were participants' competing commitments and a booklet not sufficiently conveying the Tai Chi movements. Hence, a video or DVD was requested by participants. Facilitators of their adherence to the home-based component of the intervention were their enjoyment of the practice and the development of a habit, which was supported by their commitment to the study and their willingness to benefit from Tai Chi.

Enjoyment and perceived benefits had a great impact on participants living with dementia and their care-givers' adherence to home-based Tai Chi practice. However, difficulties to perceive the Tai Chi movements through images might be hindering sustained participation. Hence, alternative aids such as videos and DVDs should be explored to facilitate adherence.

 

 


 
 

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