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J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Mar;21(3):141-51. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0056. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Effects of t'ai chi on balance: a population-based meta-analysis.

Author information

1
1 College of Nursing, Chungnam National University , Daejeon, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To systematically review and analyze the effects of t'ai chi on balance in older adults.

METHODS:

The literature was searched for randomized clinical trials on the effects of t'ai chi on balance, as evaluated by direct, static, dynamic, and mixed measures. The effect sizes (ESs) on balance were calculated by using the standardized mean difference (d) and 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS:

Thirty-four studies were included. The overall ES of t'ai chi on static balance was medium at 3 months (ES=0.73) and small at 6 months (ES=0.33) for participants with a low risk of falling. For those with a high risk of falling, the ES of t'ai chi on static balance was small (ES=0.47) at 3 months but not significant at 6 months. When compared with the no-exercise group, the ES of t'ai chi on static balance was medium (ES=0.66) at 3 months but smaller at 6 months (ES=0.37). The ES of t'ai chi (ES=0.31) was only significant at 6 months when compared with other exercise.

CONCLUSION:

The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that persons with a low risk of falling should practice t'ai chi for 3 months to improve their balance. The effects of t'ai chi on balance in those with a high risk of falling were small but significant at 3 months, supporting the safety and effectiveness of t'ai chi. It is important to select reliable and sensitive measures for balance to examine the effects of t'ai chi.

PMID:
25650522
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2014.0056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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