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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Mar;64(3):518-25. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13952. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Effects of Home-Based Tai Chi and Lower Extremity Training and Self-Practice on Falls and Functional Outcomes in Older Fallers from the Emergency Department-A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

Department of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan.
Institute of Injury Prevention and Control, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Allied Health Education, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Master Program in Long-Term Care, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.



To compare the effects of guided home-based tai chi chuan (TCC) and lower extremity training (LET) and of levels of self-practice on falls and functional outcomes in older fallers.


Randomized controlled trial.


Taipei, Taiwan.


Individuals aged 60 and older who had fall-related emergency department visits at least 6 months before participating in the study and ambulated independently at baseline (N = 456).


Six months of TCC or LET.


Four types of fall measures (falls, time to first fall, fallers, recurrent fallers) and six functional measures (handgrip strength, balance, mobility, fear of falling, depression, cognitive function).


The TCC group was significantly less likely than the LET group to experience any falls during the 6-month intervention (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.15-0.60), and the effects remained significant after 12 months of follow-up (IRR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.14-0.71). These effects remained significant for injurious falls during the 6-month intervention (IRR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.16-0.68) and the entire 18-month study (IRR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.18-0.83). Similar results were obtained when another two fall measures (time to first fall, number of fallers) were used. Moreover, participants who independently practiced TCC or LET seven times per week or more were significantly less likely to experience injurious falls during the 6-month intervention (IRR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.20-0.83) and the 18-month study (IRR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.21-0.87) than their counterparts, had a significantly longer time to first injurious fall, and were significantly less likely to have an injurious fall during the 6-month intervention. Cognitive function improved to a greater extent in the TCC group than in the LET group over the 18-month study.


Home-based TCC may reduce the incidence of falls and injurious falls more than conventional LET in older fallers, and the effects may last for at least 1 year.


exercise; falls; older people; prevention; tai chi

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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