Pilot study of the effects of tai chi on elderly fall risks
Introduction: Falls in the elderly are a significant public health concern. Tai Chi has been shown to reduce falls in this population and increase muscle strength, balance, mood, confidence and sleep. Objectives: 1. Measure fall confidence in participants and non-participants of Tai Chi; 2. Identify barriers to participation at an integrative healthcare assisted-living facility. Methods: We completed a 30 minute interview with 9 of 14 residents (age > 60) of Living Well Residential Care Home (men, n = 3; women, n = 6). Interviews with Tai Chi participants included 7 demographic questions and 13 questions about sleep, mood, and confidence. Non-participants were asked 10 questions related to barriers to attending Tai Chi classes. All study participants completed the ABC scale for assessment of fear of falling. Results: Tai Chi participants were more confident in performing daily tasks without falling in 11/13 categories on the ABC scale, and reported increased confidence (80%) and balance (80%). Non-participants reported physical limitations and time of class as barriers to participation. Conclusions: Living Well's reported fall rate of 25% may be lower than the CDC's annual fall rate of 33% for seniors (age> 65). Tai Chi participants report high levels of balance and confidence. Accommodating physical limitations and offering varying class times may increase participation.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Identify fall risks in elderly populations.
Evaluate level of confidence of elderly participants and non-participants in a Tai Chi program.
Describe prevlance of falls among an elderly population participating living in a program offering a Tai Chi program.
Keyword(s): Elderly, Injury Prevention
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I actively participated in the design, implementation, analysis, writing, and presentation of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.