Impact of Tai-Chi on falls among preclinically disabled older people: A randomized controlled trial

Lesley Day, Keith D. Hill, Voula Z. Stathakis, Leon Flicker, Leonie Segal, Flavia Cicuttini, Damien Jolley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of tai-chi in preventing falls among community-dwelling older people. Design: Multisite parallel group individually randomized controlled trial. Setting: Melbourne, Australia. Participants: Preclinically disabled community-dwelling people 70+years (n=503), without major medical conditions or moderate to severe cognitive impairment. Intervention: Sixty-minute modified Sun style tai-chi group-based exercise program twice weekly for 48weeks; control intervention was a seated group-based flexibility exercise program of the same dose. Measurements: All falls, self-reported using a monthly calendar, analyzed at 24weeks and 48weeks. Injurious falls reported in follow-up telephone interviews for each reported fall. Results: The adjusted fall incidence rate ratios at 24 and 48weeks were 1.08 [(95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64-1.81)], and 1.12 (95% CI 0.75-1.67), respectively. A higher proportion of intervention participants ceased attendance in the first 24weeks (difference 17.9%, 95% CI 9.6-25.8), and the second 24weeks (2.7%, 95% CI-5.0 to 10.4). Intervention participants who ceased attendance had lower left quadriceps strength (difference 3.3kg 95% CI 0.15-6.36) and required longer to complete the timed up and go test (difference 1.7seconds 95% CI 0.22-3.17) at baseline. Conclusions: This study does not support modified Sun style tai-chi as a falls prevention measure among relatively well community-dwelling older people with modified mobility and at increased risk of disability. Insufficient intervention intensity, or low exercise class attendance may have contributed to the lack of effect, as may have attrition bias among the intervention group.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)420-426
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
    Volume16
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015

    Keywords

    • Falls
    • Older people
    • Tai-chi

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)
    • Health Policy
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology

    Cite this