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Group-Based versus Individual-Based Tai Chi for Parkinson's Disease Patients

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August 25, 2017 - In July, 2017, the journal Parkinson's disease published a Chinese study that compared the effects of group-based and individual-based Tai Chi training on non-motor symptoms in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease.

In this randomized controlled pilot study, 36 community-dwelling patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) were randomly assigned to either group-based training group (19) or individual-based group (17). Both groups received same content of Tai Chi training 3 times a week for 13 weeks. Participants were also asked to perform home exercises daily. The Non-Motor Symptoms Scale was used to assess global nonmotor symptoms change. Sleep quality, depression, and cognition were evaluated by Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, and Beijing version-Montreal Cognitive Assessment, respectively. Home exercise compliance was recorded.

There was no significant difference between two groups at baseline. After 13 weeks, participants in group-based and individual-based groups showed a significant improvement on global non-motor symptoms and sleep. But only group-based training patients presented a significant improvement in cognitive impairment compared with baseline. For depression, no group gained a significant improvement. Group-based participants had a higher home-exercise compliance rate than individual-based participants did.

Conclusion: group-based Tai Chi training is considered to be a more effective and a more labor-saving method in the clinical settings, and patients tend to have a higher compliance rate in their home exercise program.




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