Online Program

Impact of psychosocial factors on functional improvement in hispanic seniors after tai chi exercise

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ka-Chun Siu, PhD, Physical Therapy Education, College of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion and Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Aura Whitney-Jackson, MSW, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Carolina Padilla, Intercultural Senior Center, Intercultural Senior Center, Omaha, NE
Background: Increasing evidence underscores the health benefits of Tai Chi (TC), but there is a dearth of research on the impact of TC among racial/ethnic minorities. This study was to determine the effect of TC on balance among Hispanic seniors. We hypothesized an improvement in functional ability and sustained for 3 months after TC, and such improvement are moderated by psychosocial factors. Methods: Twenty-three Hispanic seniors (16 female, mean age 65 years) were recruited from a local intercultural senior center and practiced TC two times a week for 12 weeks with a Hispanic TC instructor. Their functional abilities before and after training, and 3 months after training were assessed by single limb stance test, Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test and Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale (FES). Psychosocial status was measured by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) and Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (NSSQ). One-Way ANOVA with repeated measures and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to test the hypothesis. Results: Functional ability improved and was sustained after 3 months of TC. Time to complete TUG and the subjective rating of fear of falling in FES were significantly reduced. Greater improvement was significantly related to a higher level of social support. More depressed seniors reported less fear of falling after TC. Conclusion: Depression and social support are important moderators in functional improvement after TC. To reduce the public health burden associated with fall injuries, it is crucial to understand the relationship between psychosocial status, physical functioning and TC among Hispanic population.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact Tai Chi on the functional status of Latino elders. Explain the interaction between tai chi and psychosocial factors and functional health among Latino elders.

Keyword(s): Elderly, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Shireen Rajaram is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was the former Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities. Her scientific interests include womens health and the elimination of health disparities. She has worked with Dr. Siu in collaborating with the Latino community in Omaha to develop physical activity programs to improve the health of the elderly.
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.