Quality of life improvements associated with seated Tai Chi amongst older adults in wheelchairs

Seated Tai Chi may improve quality of life of older people with mobility limitations.

Question

What are the effects of seated Tai Chi exercise relative to usual activities on quality of life and depression symptoms in older people using wheelchairs?

What was done?

86 wheelchair-bound long-term care residents aged 60 and above were randomly assigned to a seated Tai Chi group or a control group. Participants in the seated Tai Chi group took part in three 40 minute sessions a week for 26 weeks with a certified trainer. Quality of life and depression symptoms were measured after the trial.

What was found?

The seated Tai Chi group demonstrated lower depression and higher quality of life scores than the control group.

How does this affect me?

Participating in Tai Chi may improve your quality of life regardless of your level of mobility.

Article Abstract

Abstract
Objective

Compare the effect of seated Tai Chi exercise (intervention) to usual activities on quality of life and depression symptoms in older people using wheelchairs.
Design

Randomized controlled trial.
Setting

One long-term care facility in Taiwan.
Participants

86 long-term care residents were screened; 60 were eligible and randomized to Tai Chi group (n = 30), or usual activity (n = 30).
Intervention

One certified trainer provided the intervention group with 40 min of seated Tai Chi exercise, three times a week for 26 weeks. Trial registration ACTRN12613000029796.
Main outcome measures

Quality of Life (WHOQOL (BREF)); depression symptoms (GDS-SF)
Results

Participants in the Tai Chi group (M = 3.76, SD = 3.65) recorded significantly lower GDS-SF scores than participants in the control (M = 7.76, SD = 5.15) and the Tai Chi group registered significantly higher scores across overall QOL [p = 0.03], general health [p = 0.04], and the associated domains: physical health [p = 0.00], psychological health [p = 0.02], social relations [p = 0.00], and environment [p = 0.00].
Conclusions

The findings highlight the importance of Tai Chi in improving QOL and depression in this population.

Link to full article.

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