Evaluation of Exercise Tolerance in Dialysis Patients Performing Tai Chi Training: Preliminary Study

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:5672580. doi: 10.1155/2016/5672580. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Abstract

Introduction. Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have poor physical performance and exercise capacity due to frequent dialysis treatments. Tai Chi exercises can be very useful in the area of rehabilitation of people with ESRD.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess exercise capacity in ESRD patients participating in 6-month Tai Chi training. Patients and Methods. Twenty dialysis patients from Wroclaw took part in the training; at the end of the project, 14 patients remained (age 69.2 ± 8.6 years). A 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and spiroergometry were performed at the beginning and after 6 months of training.

Results: After 6 months of Tai Chi, significant improvements were recorded in mean distance in the 6MWT (387.89 versus 436.36 m), rate of perceived exertion (7.4 versus 4.7), and spiroergometry (8.71 versus 10.08 min). Conclusions. In the ESRD patients taking part in Tai Chi training, a definite improvement in exercise tolerance was recorded after the 6-month training. Tai Chi exercises conducted on days without dialysis can be an effective and interesting form of rehabilitation for patients, offering them a chance for a better quality of life and fewer falls and hospitalisations that are the result of it.