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.