Effectiveness of tai chi as a community-based falls prevention intervention: a randomized controlled trial

Taylor, Denise, Hale, Leigh, Schluter, Philip J., Waters, Debra L., Binns, Elizabeth E., McCracken, Hamish, McPherson, Kathryn and Wolf, Steven L. (2012) Effectiveness of tai chi as a community-based falls prevention intervention: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60 5: 841-848. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03928.x

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Author Taylor, Denise
Hale, Leigh
Schluter, Philip J.
Waters, Debra L.
Binns, Elizabeth E.
McCracken, Hamish
McPherson, Kathryn
Wolf, Steven L.
Title Effectiveness of tai chi as a community-based falls prevention intervention: a randomized controlled trial
Journal name Journal of the American Geriatrics Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-8614
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03928.x
Volume 60
Issue 5
Start page 841
End page 848
Total pages 8
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of tai chi and low-level exercise in reducing falls in older adults; to determine whether mobility, balance, and lower limb strength improved and whether higher doses of tai chi resulted in greater effect.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Eleven sites throughout New Zealand.

Participants: Six hundred eighty-four community-residing older adults (mean age 74.5; 73% female) with at least one falls risk factor.

Intervention: Tai chi once a week (TC1) (n = 233); tai chi twice a week (TC2) (n = 220), or a low-level exercise program control group (LLE) (n = 231) for 20 wks.

Measurements: Number of falls was ascertained according to monthly falls calendars. Mobility (Timed-Up-and-Go Test), balance (step test), and lower limb strength (chair stand test) were assessed.

Results: The adjusted incident rate ratio (IRR) for falls was not significantly different between the TC1 and LLE groups (IRR = 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.83–1.33, P = .70) or between the TC2 and LLE groups (IRR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.68–1.16, P = .37). Adjusted multilevel mixed-effects Poisson regression showed a significant reduction in logarithmic mean fall rate of −0.050 (95% CI = −0.064 to −0.037, P < .001) per month for all groups. Multilevel fixed-effects analyses indicated improvements in balance (P < .001 right and left leg) and lower limb strength (P < .001) but not mobility (P = .54) in all groups over time, with no differences between the groups (P = .37 (right leg), P = .66 (left leg), P = .21, and P = .44, respectively).

Conclusion: There was no difference in falls rates between the groups, with falls reducing similarly (mean falls rate reduction of 58%) over the 17-month follow-up period. Strength and balance improved similarly in all groups over time.
Keyword Elderly
Tai chi
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Fri, 25 May 2012, 13:13:11 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work