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Effects of Tai Chi soft ball training on health-related quality of life of older adults with functional limitations

Author(s): Lam MHS, Cheung SY, Chow BC

Abstract

Background. This study investigated the effects of 10 weeks of Tai Chi Soft Ball (TCSB) training on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of institutionalised older adults.Methods. 66 older adults aged 65 to 75 years from private institutions were included; 34 were assigned to the training group (2 one-hour sessions per week) and 32 to the control group. HRQoL was measured using the SF-36. Two-way ANOVA/ANCOVA (with repeated measures in one factor) was used to examine the testing factor (pre-test and post-test of training) and the effect of groups (training and control groups) as well as their interaction effects.Results. In the training group, significant within-group training effects were noted on physical component summary (PCS) [F=28.06, p<0.01] and mental component summary (MCS) [F=17.85, p<0.01] of the SF-36. In the controls, significant within-group deterioration of PCS (F=4.89, p<0.05) was noted. The differences of PCS (F=549.09, p<0.01) and MCS (F=4.11, p<0.05) between the training and control groups increased significantly after 10 weeks of TCSB training. Conclusion. TCSB was effective in improving HRQoL and in decelerating the deterioration of HRQoL of older adults with functional limitations.

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