Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Physical Therapy

Abstract

Recent evidence supports the use of T’ai chi to decrease fall risk and improve self-efficacy (Wolf et al., 1996). The purpose of this study was to compare T’ai chi to a “Sit and Be Fit” intervention in a sample of the community-dwelling elderly. Classes met twice weekly for six weeks. Authors investigated the effects of each intervention on perceived and actual balance using timed one-legged stance, Tinetti Balance Subscale and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale. Pre- and post-testing were performed within one week of intervention. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine statistical differences between the two groups. The Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was utilized to test the hypothesis that the T’ai chi group would demonstrate an increase in actual and perceived balance performance. Although individual improvements in balance were noted for the T’ai chi group, results were not significant. T’ai chi shows promise in balance training for the community-dwelling elderly.

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