Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
Tai Chi for Older Nurses: A Workplace Wellness Pilot Study
Mary Val Palumbo, DNP, APRN, Office of Nursing Workforce Research, Planning, and Development, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA, Ge Wu, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA, Hollie Shaner-McCrae, RN, MSA, FAAN, Nursing, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT, USA, Betty Rambur, DNSc, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA, and Barbara McIntosh, PhD, School of Business Administration, Universtiy of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.
Learning Objective #1: describe a Tai Chi workplace wellness intervention targeting older nurses.
Learning Objective #2: describe measurements used to determine the effectiveness of 15 weeks of Tai Chi instruction and practice.

Background: Due to aging of the nurse workforce, effective and easily replicable interventions to reduce physical injury and provide job stress reduction for older nurses are needed. 
The widely documented positive effects of Tai Chi in the elderly, suggest it might be an effective intervention for the older nurses (age 45+).      
Specific Aim: The specific aim of this study was to examine the effect of Tai Chi exercises on health and wellbeing, risk for musculoskeletal injuries, and work limitations in older nurses working in a hospital setting. 
Methods: A convenience sample of fourteen subjects, (females age 48-63) were recruited for the pre-test, post-test experimental design pilot study.  Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups: 1) the experimental group participated in Tai Chi class once a week at the workplace and were encouraged to practice Tai Chi four times a week over a 15 week period; and 2) the control group had no Tai Chi exercises.
Hypothesis and Measures: Older nurses participating in the Tai Chi intervention (as compared their baseline, and controls), will demonstrate:
1. Improved health and wellbeing (measured by SF-36, Nurse Stress Scale, and Perceived Stress Scale);
2. Reduced risks for musculoskeletal injuries (measured by leg strength, Functional Reach Test, and Sit and Reach test);
3. Decreased work limitations (measured by The Work Limitations Questionnaire, Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire). Reliability and validity of measures will be discussed.
Results:  The intervention was conducted from September to December, 2006.  Pre and post-test differences and differences between experimental and control groups are currently being analyzed and will be available in January, 2007.
Significance: Tai Chi as a cost effective health promotion/injury prevention intervention merits testing on this population in order to meet what is considered to be a pressing nursing workforce need – the health and safety of the older nurse.