Effects of a short eight Tai Chi-forms for the pre-frail elderly people in senior living communities

Yujie Ge, Howe Liu, Qingwen Wu, Anju Chen, Zhipeng Gao, Fengmei Xing, Guangtian Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate effects of a short 8-form Tai Chi exercise on physical function, fear of falling, and depression in pre-frail elderly people living in senior communities. Methods: This 8-week randomized controlled trial was conducted in senior living communities with qualified pre-frail elderly subjects in a Tai Chi group (TCG, n= 32) and a control group (CG, n = 33). The TCG received TC intervention: three times/week, 60 min each; while the CG did usual care only. Assessments of the 30-s chair rise test (CRT), 4.5-m walking speed (WS), fear of falling (FOF), and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), were all applied at baseline, end of 4th week, and end of 8th week. Results: Between-group comparison at the 4th week showed significantly better outcomes in CRT (TCG: 14.56 ± 1.87; CG: 11.48 ± 2.83; P<.001) and WS (TCG: 4.28 ± 0.69; CG: 5.11 ± 1.16; P =.001) in the TCG than those in the CG, but not in FOF (TCG: 0.56 ± 0.56; CG: 0.79 ± 0.89; P =.228) and GDS (TCG: 7.91 ± 5.54; CG: 9.58 ± 6.85; P =.285). However, at the 8th week, significant differences (P<.001) were found in all four assessments: (1) CRT: TCG vs CG: 17.28 ± 2.00 vs 11.36± 2.94; (2) WS: TCG vs CG: 3.94 ± 0.59 vs 5.17 ± 1.22; (3) FOF: TCG vs CG: 0.16 ± 0.37 vs 1.00 ± 0.90; and (4) GDS: TCG vs CG: 3.84 ± 3.60 vs 9.97 ± 6.80, and the intervention effect of 8 weeks was better than at 4 weeks. For within-group comparison of the TCG, significant improvements were identified in CRT (P<.001), WS (P =.008), and FOF (P =.002); but not in GDS, P =.121 at the 4th week, and also in CRT (P<.001), WS (P<.001), FOF (P<.001), and GDS (P<.001) at the 8th week. On the other hand, there were no significant differences in the CG for pre- and post-comparison (CRT: P =.891; WS: P =.984; FOF: P =.636; GDS: P =.822). Conclusion: This short-form TC exercise could improve physical function (the lower limbs’ strength and gait speed), fear of falling, and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1928-1936
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2022


  • TaiChi exercise
  • depression
  • fear of falling
  • physical function
  • pre-frail


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