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Can Social Support Enhance the Benefits of Tai Chi?

ATCQA members and certified instructors/practitioners can access the full content of this article on ATCQA website. Sign in your ATCQA account and then click the link for "Study Materials".
 
June 15, 2014 -
Chronic pain is common among the older population. A literature review on pain management program showed that exercise, yoga, massage therapy, Tai Chi, and music therapy could significantly reduce pain. In spite of the proven benefits of pain management programs, these intervention programs were effective only in the short term, and older adults would resume their old habits.

It has been suggested that interventions comprising some type of social support have great potential to increase the participation of older adults. Therefore, researchers in Hong Kong propose the inclusion of peer volunteers in an integrated pain management program to relieve pain among frail older adults. This study aims to explore the effectiveness of an integrated pain management program supplemented with peer volunteers in improving pain intensity, functional mobility, physical activity, loneliness levels, happiness levels, and the use of non-pharmacological pain-relieving methods among frail older adults with chronic pain.

The researchers intend to recruit 30 nursing home residents and 30 peer volunteers from the Institute of Active Ageing in Hong Kong in a group trial for an 8-week group-based integrated pain management program. There will be 16 sessions, with two 1-hour sessions each week. The primary outcome will be pain levels, while secondary outcomes will be assessed according to functional mobility, physical activity, loneliness levels, happiness levels, the use of non-pharmacological pain-relieving methods, and through a questionnaire for volunteers.

The researchers propose the use of peer volunteers to enhance the effects of an integrated pain management program. It is expected that pain can be reduced and improvements can be achieved among older adults in the areas of physical activity, functional mobility, loneliness levels, happiness levels, and the use of non-pharmacological pain relieving methods. Using these results, the researchers will assess the need to conduct a larger study with a randomized controlled design.

In the article published in the journal Trials, the researchers also described in details of how they will recruit the peer volunteers, train them, provide support to them and measure the quality of these volunteers. ATCQA Members and Certified Instructors/Practitioners can read the full text of the article. Sign in your ATCQA account and then click the link for "Study Materials".

 

 


 
 

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