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
Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2016
© 2016, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2016, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 64, Issue 3, pages 518–525, March 2016
How to Cite
J Am Geriatr Soc 64:518–525, 2016.
- Issue online: 21 MAR 2016
- Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2016
- National Health Research Institute. Grant Numbers: NHRI-EX102–9805PI, NHRI-EX103–10317PI
- Ministry of Science Technology. Grant Numbers: MOST103–2314-B-038–012-MY3, MOST103-2627-M-038-001
- older people;
- tai chi
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.
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.