Muscular/Skeletal system

Adoption of a Tai Chi Intervention, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, for Fall Prevention by Rural Faith-Based Organizations, 2013–2014

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, USA


Outcomes:  Translating evidence-based, community-delivered, fall-prevention exercise programs into new settings is a public health priority. Community Context: Older adults (aged ≥65 y) are at high risk for falls. We conducted a community engagement project in West Virginia to evaluate the adoption of a tai chi exercise program, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, by rural faith-based organizations (FBOs) and exercise instructors by recruiting 20 FBOs and 20 or more exercise instructors and by obtaining input from key stakeholders (representatives of FBOs, community representatives, exercise instructors) regarding potential barriers and facilitators to program adoption.

Effect of tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial

Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA and Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA


Outcomes: Tai chi mind-body treatment results in similar or greater improvement in symptoms than aerobic exercise, the current most commonly prescribed non-drug treatment, for a variety of outcomes for patients with fibromyalgia. Longer duration of tai chi showed greater improvement. This mind-body approach may be considered a therapeutic option in the multidisciplinary management of fibromyalgia.

The perspectives of older women with chronic neck pain on perceived effects of qigong and exercise therapy on aging: a qualitative interview study

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany and Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


Outcomes: Results – In the content analysis, different themes emerged in the analysis of the interviews with members of the qigong intervention group versus members of the exercise-therapy intervention group. Overall, all interviewees reflected positively on their Qigong and Exercise Therapy for Elderly Patients with Chronic Neck Pain (QIBANE) experience, and all talked about their participation in QIBANE as helpful for them. However, what was discussed in both groups when they talked about “good” or “positive experiences” in the study differed between the two groups. For example, themes that emerged in the exercise-therapy group were difficulties associated with aging and to stay physically active. In the interviews with qigong group members, themes that emerged were qigong as a method as well as the influence of qigong on body awareness and how this influenced daily activities. In the following sections, we present these themes separately for each group. We then compare the different experiences.

Can Tai Chi training impact fractal stride time dynamics, an index of gait health, in older adults? Cross-sectional and randomized trial studies

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA and Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel and Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Roslindale, MA, USA and Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA and

Midwestern University, USA


Outcomes: Purpose – To determine if Tai Chi (TC) has an impact on long-range correlations and fractal-like scaling in gait stride time dynamics, previously shown to be associated with aging, neurodegenerative disease, and fall risk. Results – Cross-sectional comparisons using confounder adjusted linear models suggest that TC experts exhibited significantly greater long-range scaling of gait stride time dynamics compared with TC-naïve adults. Longitudinal random-slopes with shared baseline models accounting for multiple confounders suggest that the effects of shorter-term TC training on gait dynamics were not statistically significant but trended in the same direction as longer-term effects although effect sizes were very small. In contrast, gait speed was unaffected in both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons.

Comparative Effectiveness of Tai Chi Versus Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Trial

Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Center for Mind–Body Therapies, Boston, Massachusetts, and Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, Rhode Island, USA


Outcomes: Objective – To compare Tai Chi with standard physical therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Conclusion – Tai Chi produced beneficial effects similar to those of a standard course of physical therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

A Supplemental Report to a Randomized Cluster Trial of a 20-Week Sun-Style Tai Chi for Osteoarthritic Knee Pain in Elders with Cognitive Impairment

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA and University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA and University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA


Outcomes: Objective – This was a secondary data analysis of a cluster-randomized clinical trial that tested the efficacy of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi (TC) program in reducing pain in community-dwelling elders with cognitive impairment and knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study also examined whether elders’ level of cognitive function was related to the outcomes of the TC program.

Conclusion – These results suggest that TC can be used as an adjunct to pharmacological intervention to relieve OA pain in elders with cognitive impairment.

A randomized, prospective study of the effects of Tai Chi Chun exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Outcomes: This is the first prospective and randomized study to show that a programmed Tai Chi Chun (TCC) Yang style exercise intervention is beneficial for retarding bone loss in weight-bearing bones in early postmenopausal women. Long-term follow-up is needed to substantiate the role of TCC exercise in the prevention of osteoporosis and its related fracture.

Effects of Home-Based Tai Chi and Lower Extremity Training and Self-Practice on Falls and Functional Outcomes in Older Fallers from the Emergency Department-A Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan.

Institute of Injury Prevention and Control, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.

Graduate Institute of Allied Health Education, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Master Program in Long-Term Care, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Outcomes: Home-based tai chi chuan (TCC) may reduce the incidence of falls and injurious falls more than conventional LET in older fallers, and the effects may last for at least 1 year.

 Tai Chi and fall reductions in older adults _ a randomized controlled trial

Oregon Research Institute, OR, USA


Outcomes: A three-times-per-week, 6-month Tai Chi program is effective in decreasing the number of falls, the risk for falling, and the fear of falling, and it improves functional balance and physical performance in physically inactive persons aged 70 years or older.

Economic Evaluation of a Tai Ji Quan Intervention to Reduce Falls in People With Parkinson Disease, Oregon, 2008–2011

Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, Oregon


Outcomes:  Tai Ji Quan represents a cost-effective strategy for optimizing spending to prevent falls and maximize health gains in people with Parkinson disease. While these results are promising, they warrant further validation.

Qualitative analysis of a controlled trial of qigong for fibromyalgia: advancing understanding of an emerging health practice

Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Outcomes: This retrospective qualitative analysis of information collected in an RCT of qigong for fibromyalgia indicates that favorable initial experiences with the practice over 8 weeks predispose to continued practice and more health effects. Future individual trials and meta-analyses of qigong will need to attend to the amount, and potentially quality, of practice undertaken in considering trial outcomes.

A Pilot Cluster Randomized Trial of a 20-Week Tai Chi Program in Elders With Cognitive Impairment and Osteoarthritic Knee: Effects on Pain and Other Health Outcomes

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas and The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA


Outcomes: Practicing Tai Chi (TC) can be efficacious in reducing pain and stiffness in elders with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and cognitive impairment (CI).

Qigong versus exercise therapy for chronic low back pain in adults–a randomized controlled non-inferiority trial

Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany


Outcomes: Qigong was not proven to be non-inferior to exercise therapy in the treatment of chronic low back pain. Its role in the prevention of chronic low back pain might be addressed in further studies.

Tai chi exercise for treatment of pain and disability in people with persistent low back pain: a randomized controlled trial

The George Institute for Global Health and University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Outcomes: This is the first pragmatic randomized controlled trial of tai chi exercise for people with low back pain. It showed that a 10-week tai chi program improved pain and disability outcomes and can be considered a safe and effective intervention for those experiencing long-term low back pain symptoms.