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Clin Rehabil. 2014 Aug;28(8):748-753. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Effects of Tai Chi on balance and fall prevention in Parkinson's disease: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.
2
Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Sichuan, China Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.
3
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Sichuan, China.
4
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China.
5
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Sichuan, China hxkfhcq@126.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the effects of Tai Chi on balance and functional mobility in people with Parkinson's disease, and determine whether fall incidence could be reduced by the Tai Chi exercise.

DESIGN:

Single blinded randomized control trial with 6 months' follow-up.

SETTING:

A hospital and general community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients (n=76) diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, over 40 years old, able to walk independently and fell at least one time during the past 12 months.

INTERVENTIONS:

The Tai Chi group (n=37) received 24-form Yang style Tai Chi exercise for 60 minutes each time, three times a week and lasted for 12 weeks. The control group (n=39) received no intervention.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III, Timed Up&Go (TUG) and occurrences of falls.

RESULTS:

The Tai Chi group improved more than the control group on the BBS (p<0.05), but there was no difference on UPDRS III scores and Timed Up&Go (p>0.05). During the 6-month follow-up, only 8 (21.6%) out of 37 patients in the Tai Chi group had experience of falls comparing to 19 (48.7%) out of 39 patients in the control group (p<0.05). The average times of falls were 0.30±0.62 in the Tai Chi group compared with 0.64±0.74 in the control group (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggested that Tai Chi exercise could improve the balance and decrease the fall risks in patients with Parkinson's disease.

KEYWORDS:

Parkinson’s disease; Tai Chi; balance; exercise; fall

PMID:
24519923
DOI:
10.1177/0269215514521044

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