The Effect of Self-Help Tai Chi Over 16 Weeks In Community Program for Older Korean-American Women

Friday, 17 July 2009: 8:30 AM

EunHee Lee, PhD
Nursing, Kangneung University, Wonju, South Korea
Mary Molle, RN, PHN, PhD
Department of Nursing, Cal State San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA

Learning Objective 1: to know the effect of education of Tai Chi and health education

Learning Objective 2: to confirm one day per week program was insufficient to maintain changes

Purpose: This program utilized a 16-week Tai Chi exercise program for Arthritis (TCA) combined with health education. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Self-help Tai Chi for Arthritis (SHTCA) on flexibility, handgrip and balance with closed eyes. Methods: 39 women aged 55-79 were recruited through an advertisement in church. Twenty-five participants; 12 members of the SHTCA group, and 13 control group members completed the program and post-test. SHTCA group received the program once a week,  16 weeks. The control group received no program, but did participate in their normal exercise routines. SHTCA program consisted of understanding of health and health behavior, chronic disease including arthritis, hypertension, self-efficacy, exercise for muscle strength and joint flexibility, and 33 Tai Chi exercises. Measurements used to examine the effect of the SHTCA were carried at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks, and measures were both arm flexibility, back flexibility, both hand grips and balance with eyes closed.
Results: Analysis of covariance adjusted for left hand grip, and baseline values of variables were significantly homogeneous between groups. Right hand grip in the exp. group was significantly improved compared to control group (.024), but no effects were evident in arm flexibility, back flexibility, left hand grip or balance with eyes closed after 16 weeks. Even though in a paired t-test of the experimental (SHTCA) group after 8 weeks, back flexibility (.009), right handgrip (.021) and left handgrip (.008) were all significantly improved, and after 16 weeks all variables except balance with eyes closed showed significant improvement (right arm flexibility 0.045, left arm flexibility 0.016, back flexibility 0.024, right handgrip 0.029, left handgrip .015)
Conclusion:Results showed SHTCA was partially effective, but one day per week program was insufficient to maintain changes. We suggest attention to community engagement and redesign of program to encourage more exercise.