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J Appl Gerontol. 2019 Jul;38(7):983-998. doi: 10.1177/0733464817703004. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Using Tai Chi to Reduce Fall Risk Factors Among Older Adults: An Evaluation of a Community-Based Implementation.

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1 University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY, USA.
2 New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.
3 Safe States Alliance, Atlanta, GA, USA.
4 Albany Medical College, NY, USA.


This study aimed to evaluate a community-based implementation of an evidence-based fall prevention program, in which 131 individuals participated in Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Self-report and functional performance assessments included demographics, health and fall history, the Activities-Specific Balance Scale, the Timed Up and Go test, and the Functional Reach test. Pre-post scores were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The mostly female participants were 73 years old, on average. At baseline, 18% reported being afraid or very afraid of falling, and 18% had fallen in the past 6 months. At follow-up, there was significant improvement in Timed Up and Go ( p < .001), Functional Reach ( p < .01), and Activities-Specific Balance Scale scores ( p < .01). These results demonstrate that a 12-week evidence-based Tai Chi program can be feasibly implemented by novice instructors, is well-received by older adults, and can effectively reduce fall risk when implemented in community settings.


evidence-based practice; exercise; falls; program evaluation


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