Tai Chi and health-related quality of life in nursing home residents

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2009 Mar;41(1):35-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01249.x.


Purpose: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) that is good is regarded as the goal of elderly residential care. However, limited evidence exists indicating a promising intervention that can achieve this goal. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of Tai Chi on HRQOL in nursing home residents.

Design: A nonequivalent pretest-posttest control-group design.

Methods: A convenience sample of 139 residents from six nursing homes in Hong Kong was used. The experimental group (n=66) joined a 26-week Tai Chi program, while the control group (n=73) continued with usual daily activities. The physical and mental components of HRQOL were designated as the dependent variables. Resident satisfaction was considered as a covariate. Doubly multivariate repeated measures analysis of covariance was done to examine the intervention effect.

Findings: After adjusting for the confounding effect of resident satisfaction, a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) in the physical and mental components of HRQOL between the experimental and control groups was found. Findings showed significant improvement in HRQOL after residents practiced Tai Chi.

Conclusions: These investigators contribute additional knowledge about the health benefits of Tai Chi among nursing home residents and indicates support for its use in this population to improve HRQOL.

Clinical relevance: Tai Chi has unique characteristics as a health exercise that is particularly suitable for nursing home residents. The inclusion of Tai Chi exercise in elderly residential care practice is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Tai Ji*