Effects of Tai Chi for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy
September 28, 2012 -
This study was performed by Chungnam National University of South Korea. Journal
of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published it in its September 2012
Purpose: The aim of
this study was to determine the effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control,
neuropathy scores, balance, and quality of life in patients with type-2 diabetes
pretest-posttest design with a nonequivalent control group was utilized to
recruit 59 diabetic patients with neuropathy from an outpatient clinic of a
university hospital. A standardized Tai Chi for diabetes program was provided,
which comprised 1 hour of Tai Chi per session, twice a week for 12 weeks.
Outcome variables were fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin for
glucose control, the Semmes-Weinstein 10-g monofilament examination scores and
total symptom scores for neuropathy, single leg stance for balance, and the
Korean version of the SF-36v2 for quality of life. Thirty-nine patients
completed the posttest measures after the 12-week Tai Chi intervention, giving a
34% dropout rate.
Results: The mean
age of the participants was 64 years, and they had been diagnosed with type-2
diabetes for more than 12 years. The status was significantly better for the
participants in the Tai Chi group than for their control (i.e., nonintervention)
counterparts in terms of total symptom scores, glucose control, balance, and
quality of life.
Conclusion: Tai Chi
improved glucose control, balance, neuropathic symptoms, and some dimensions of
quality of life in diabetic patients with neuropathy. Further studies with
larger samples and long-term follow-up are needed to confirm the effects of Tai
Chi on the management of diabetic neuropathy, which may have an impact on fall
prevention in this population.