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Disabil Rehabil. 2013 Aug;35(17):1429-35. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.737084. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Efficacy of supervised Tai Chi exercises versus conventional physical therapy exercises in fall prevention for frail older adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Research Centre on Aging, University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada. michel.tousignant@usherbooke.ca

Abstract

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.

METHOD:

The 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.

RESULTS:

Both interventions demonstrated a protective effect on falls but Tai Chi showed a greater one (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.56-0.98) as compared to conventional physical therapy exercises.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
23167499
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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