Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Physical Therapy

Abstract

This study assessed the efficacy of a T’ai Chi exercise intervention on functional balance and walking speed. Twenty-two volunteer subjects over the age of 65 were included and categorized as near-frail or well elderly, based on their functional status. Subjects randomly selected for the intervention group participated in a 45 minute T’ai Chi group exercise class, bi-weekly for six weeks. Pre- and post-intervention data was on the Berg Balance Scale, and on self-selected and maximum walking speed. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no statistical significant differences between the intervention group and the control group. Likewise, there was no statistical significant differences found between near-frail and well elderly subjects in the intervention group at post-testing. Further studies should be done on the efficacy of T’ai Chi in the near-frail or inactive elderly.

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