Background: This study assessed the effect of tai chi on glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure and health status (SF-36) in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A randomised controlled trial of tai chi classes for 6 months versus wait list control for adults with type 2 diabetes and a baseline HbA1c of 7% or more.
Results: A total of 53 patients were recruited to the study and randomised to tai chi (28) or control group (25). There were improvements in HbA1c; 6 m walk test, and total cholesterol between baseline and follow up but the difference between the two treatment groups was not statistically significant. Health status results showed improvements in three domains for the tai chi group.
Discussion: There was no significant improvement in metabolic control or cardiovascular risk at follow up compared to the control group. Patients in the tai chi group showed improvements in physical and social functioning.