The effects of a Simplified Tai-Chi Exercise Program (STEP) on the physical health of older adults living in long-term care facilities: A single group design with multiple time points

Kuei-Min CHEN, Jong-Ni LIN, Huey-Shyan LIN, Hui-Chuan WU, Wen-Ting CHEN, Chun-Huw LI, Sing Kai LO

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34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Studies support the positive effects that Tai Chi has on the physical health of older adults. However, many older adults residing in long-term care facilities feel too weak to practice traditional Tai Chi, and a more simplified style is preferred.
Objective: To test the effects of a newly-developed, Simplified Tai-Chi Exercise Program (STEP) on the physical health of older adults who resided in long-term care facilities.
Design: A single group design with multiple time points: three pre-tests, one month apart; four post-tests at one month, two months, three months, and six months after intervention started.
Settings: Two 300–400 bed veteran homes in Taiwan.
Participants: The 51 male older adults were recruited through convenience sampling, and 41 of them completed six-month study. Inclusion criteria included: (1) aged 65 and over; (2) no previous training in Tai Chi; (3) cognitively alert and had a score of at least eight on the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire; (4) able to walk without assistance; and (5) had a Barthel Index score of 61 or higher. Participants who had dementia, were wheel-chair bound, or had severe or acute cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, or pulmonary illnesses were excluded.

Methods: The STEP was implemented three times a week, 50 min per session for six months. The outcome measures included cardio-respiratory function, blood pressure, balance, hand-grip strength, lower body flexibility, and physical health actualization.
Results: A drop in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (p<.001) was detected six months after intervention started. Increase in hand-grip strength from pre to post intervention was found (left hand: p<.001; right hand: ). Participants also had better lower body flexibility after practicing STEP (p = .038).
Conclusions: Findings suggest that the STEP be incorporated as a floor activity in long-term care facilities to promote physical health of older adults. Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

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Tai Ji
Long-Term Care
Exercise
Hand Strength
Health
Blood Pressure
Hand
Wheelchairs
Veterans
Taiwan
Dementia
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Lung

Citation

Chen, K.-M., Lin, J.-N., Lin, H.-S., Wu, H.-C., Chen, W.-T., Li, C.-H., & Lo, S. K. (2008). The effects of a Simplified Tai-Chi Exercise Program (STEP) on the physical health of older adults living in long-term care facilities: A single group design with multiple time points. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45(4), 501-507. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.11.008

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Martial arts
  • Physical fitness
  • Tai Chi