Effects of T'ai Chi training on function and quality of life indicators in older adults with osteoarthritis

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Dec;48(12):1553-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2000.tb03863.x.


Objective: To determine the effects of T'ai Chi training on arthritis self-efficacy, quality of life indicators, and lower extremity functional mobility in older adults with osteoarthritis.

Design: A prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Intervention length was 12 weeks, with outcomes measured before and after intervention using blinded testers. Group (T'ai Chi vs Control) x time (2 x 2) mixed factorial ANOVA.

Setting: Allied Health Sciences Center at Springfield College, Springfield, MA PARTICIPANTS: A total of 33 community-dwelling participants (mean age 68) diagnosed with lower extremity osteoarthritis and having no prior T'ai Chi training longer than 2 weeks.

Intervention: T'ai Chi training included two 1-hour T'ai Chi classes per week for 12 weeks.

Measurements: Arthritis self-efficacy (Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale), quality of life indicators (Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale), functional outcomes (one-leg standing balance, 50-foot walking speed, time to rise from a chair).

Results: T'ai Chi participants experienced significant (P < .05) improvements in self-efficacy for arthritis symptoms, total arthritis self-efficacy, level of tension, and satisfaction with general health status.

Conclusions: A moderate T'ai Chi intervention can enhance arthritis self-efficacy, quality of life, and functional mobility among older adults with osteoarthritis. T'ai Chi training is a safe and effective complementary therapy in the medical management of lower extremity osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Martial Arts*
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / psychology*
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome