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

Chen, Kuei-Min, Lin, Jong-Ni, Lin, Huey-Shyan, Wu, Hui-Chuan, Chen, Wen-Ting, Li, Chun-Huw and Lo, Sing Kai 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, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 501-507.


Title 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
Author(s) Chen, Kuei-Min
Lin, Jong-Ni
Lin, Huey-Shyan
Wu, Hui-Chuan
Chen, Wen-Ting
Li, Chun-Huw
Lo, Sing Kai
Journal name International journal of nursing studies
Volume number 45
Issue number 4
Start page 501
End page 507
Publisher Pergamon
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2008-04
ISSN 0020-7489
1873-491X
Keyword(s) Aged
Martial arts
Physical fitness
Tai Chi
Summary 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 (p=.017) 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: p=.035). 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.

Language eng
Field of Research 110404 Traditional Chinese Medicine and Treatments
Socio Economic Objective 920502 Health Related to Ageing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2006, Elsevier Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017976

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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