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Geriatr Nurs. 2009 Mar-Apr;30(2):132-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2007.11.002. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

The effect of tai chi on knee osteoarthritis pain in cognitively impaired elders: pilot study.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.


This article reports a pilot study of the effect of tai chi (TC), a pharmacological adjunct and mild aerobic exercise, on osteoarthritic knee pain in elders with cognitive impairment (CI). The TC program included a warm-up, 12-form Sun-style TC, and a cool-down period, for a total of 20-40 minutes per session, twice a week for 15 weeks. The results showed no significant differences in knee pain after the TC intervention in 7 elders with CI. However, more minutes of TC attendance were related to improved pain scores (Spearman's rho=.78, P < .05). Greater accuracy in TC performance was also correlated with improvements in pain scores (Spearman's rho = .70, P=.08). Of 4 elders who participated in TC practice regularly (more than 20 sessions), 3 showed clinically important improvements, but 3 elders who participated in no sessions or only a few sessions showed no improvement.

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