Study Shows Tai Chi More Effective than Physical Therapy to Prevent Falls for Frail Older Adults
November 26, 2012 -
The study by Université de Sherbrooke in Québec, Canada is published by
Disability and Rehabilitation in November 2012.
Purpose: To compare
the effectiveness of supervised Tai Chi exercises versus the conventional
physical therapy exercises in a personalized rehabilitation program in terms of
the incidence and severity of falls in a frail older population.
participants were frail older adults living in the community, admitted to the
day hospital program in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada (n = 152). They were
randomized to receive a 15-week intervention, either by supervised Tai Chi
exercises (n = 76) or conventional physical therapy (n = 76). Fall incidence and
severity were assessed using both the calendar technique and phone interviews
once a month during 12 months following the end of the intervention. Other
variables were collected at baseline to compare the two groups: age,
comorbidity, balance, sensory interaction on balance, and self-rated health.
interventions demonstrated a protective effect on falls but Tai Chi showed a
greater one as compared to conventional physical therapy exercises.
Supervised Tai Chi exercises as part of a rehabilitation program seem to be a
more effective alternative to the conventional physical therapy exercises for
this specific population. .