Feasibility and acceptability of a Tai Chi Chih randomized controlled trial in senior female cancer survivors

Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Nov;12(6):464-74. doi: 10.1177/1534735413485418. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Objective: The purpose of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a Tai Chi Chih (TCC) intervention in senior female cancer survivors with physical functioning limitations, and its effects on health-related quality of life (QOL).

Design: This was a two-armed, parallel group, RCT with 12-weeks of Tai Chi Chih or Health Education Control.

Methods: Sixty-three senior (M age = 67 years, SD = 7.15) female cancer survivors (83% breast cancer, stages I-III) with physical functioning limitations (SF-12 Health Survey role-physical & physical functioning subscales) were randomized to 12-weeks of TCC or Health Education control (HEC). Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes included health-related QOL (SF-36 Health Survey), and participants' qualitative feedback on the intervention.

Results: Retention (TCC = 91%; HEC = 81%) and class attendance (TCC = 79%; HEC = 83%) rates, and satisfaction levels for both study arms were high, but did not significantly differ from one another. At one-week post-intervention, none of the SF-36 scores differed between the TCC and HEC groups. Within-group analyses revealed significant improvements in the mental component summary score in TCC (p = 0.01), but not in HEC. Qualitative analyses indicated that the TCC group felt they received mental and physical benefits, whereas HEC group reported on social support benefits and information received.

Conclusion: The TCC intervention was found to be a feasible and acceptable modality for senior female cancer survivors. Future, larger definitive trials are needed to clarify TCC dosage effects on QOL in this vulnerable population.

Keywords: Tai Chi Chih; feasibility randomized controlled trial; oncology; quality of life; senior female cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support
  • Survivors
  • Tai Ji*