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Tai Chi Qigong for Health >> Tai Chi Qigong for Mental Health

The Benefits of Tai Chi for Residential Patients with Schizophrenia
 
January 28, 2013 -
This is a new study published by Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in its November 2012 issue. It was conducted by the University of Hong Kong.

Objective: Patients with schizophrenia residing at institutions often suffer from negative symptoms, motor, and functional impairments more severe than their non-institutionalized counterparts. Tai Chi emphasizes body relaxation, alertness, and movement coordination with benefits to balance, focus, and stress relief. This pilot study explored the efficacy of Tai Chi on movement coordination, negative symptoms, and functioning disabilities towards schizophrenia.

Methods: A randomized waitlist control design was adopted, where participants were randomized to receive either the 6-week Tai Chi program and standard residential care or only the latter. 30 Chinese patients with schizophrenia were recruited from a rehabilitation residency. All were assessed on movement coordination, negative symptoms, and functional disabilities at baseline, following intervention and 6 weeks after intervention.

Results: Tai Chi buffered from deteriorations in movement coordination and interpersonal functioning, the latter with sustained effectiveness 6 weeks after the class was ended. Controls showed marked deteriorations in those areas. The Tai Chi group also experienced fewer disruptions to life activities at the 6-week maintenance. There was no significant improvement in negative symptoms after Tai Chi.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated encouraging benefits of Tai Chi in preventing deteriorations in movement coordination and interpersonal functioning for residential patients with schizophrenia. The ease of implementation facilitates promotion at institutional psychiatric services.

 

 


 
 

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