Study protocol for a comparative randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi and conventional exercise training on alleviating depression in older insomniacs

Francesco RECCHIA, Angus P. YU, Teryn C. NG, Daniel Y. FONG, King Chung Derwin CHAN, Calvin P. CHENG, Stanley S. C. HUI, Chenchen WANG, Parco M. SIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: Insomnia and depression are prevalent mental disorders that are often comorbid among older adults. Lifestyle intervention strategies incorporating Tai Chi or conventional exercise have been shown to alleviate symptoms of insomnia and depression. However, the comparative efficacy of these exercise modalities in individuals with both disorders has yet to be determined. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the efficacy of Tai Chi and conventional exercise for reducing depressive symptoms in older adults with chronic insomnia and depressive symptoms, when compared to a health education control. 

Methods: This study is a prospective, assessor-blinded, three-arm, parallel group, randomized controlled trial. Older adults aged ≥60 years with a diagnosis of chronic insomnia and depressive symptoms will be randomly assigned to a Tai Chi, conventional exercise or health education control condition on a 1:1:1 basis. Interventions will last for 3 months, with a 6-month follow-up period. The primary outcome is depressive symptoms, assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Secondary outcomes include subjective sleep quality, 7-day actigraphy, 7-day sleep diary, anxiety symptoms, quality of life, medication usage and physical function. All measurements will be conducted at baseline, 3 months and 9 months by outcome assessors who are blinded to group allocation. 

Discussion: This study will compare the efficacy of Tai Chi and conventional exercise in improving depression outcomes in older adults with chronic insomnia and depressive symptoms. Our results will shed light on the clinical potential of these interventions for combating insomnia and depression in older adults. Copyright © 2024 The Society of Chinese Scholars on Exercise Physiology and Fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024

Citation

Recchia, F., Yu, A. P., Ng, T. C., Fong, D. Y., Chan, D. K. C., Cheng, C. P., Hui, S. S. C., Wang, C., & Siu, P. M. (2024). Study protocol for a comparative randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi and conventional exercise training on alleviating depression in older insomniacs. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, 22(3), 194-201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesf.2024.03.001

Keywords

  • Insomnia
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Tai Chi
  • Exercise
  • Older adults

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