Purpose: This study examined whether practicing Tai Chi (TC) along with music can maximize the effects of TC on compliance and fall-related risk factors (Dynamic Gait Index and fear of falling).
Design: A convenient sample was recruited in a community senior center. Eighteen women aged 50 to 84 years (9 White, 9 Black) were block randomly assigned to a TC in silence (TC + S; n = 6) or a TC with music (TC + M; n = 12) class.
Method: Thirteen participants (4 in TC + S group, 9 in TC + M group) with completed pre- and posttests were included in the final analysis. Paired t tests were conducted to examine changes within groups over time and analysis of covariance was used to assess group differences.
Findings: After 15 weeks of intervention, balance increased in both groups with significantly higher benefits in the TC + M group ( p < .05). Fear of falling scores improved in TC + M group and compliance rate was higher in this group.
Conclusions: Practicing TC + M may help increase adherence in White and Black middle-aged and older women, and maximize the effects of TC on fall-related risk factors. Studies with more rigorous study design, including musical considerations, are warranted.
Keywords: Black/African American; Tai Chi; chronic conditions; older adults; women.