Objectives: The aim of this pilot study was to assess the effects of a t'ai chi program on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) in centrally obese adults with depression. Methods: Two hundred thirteen participants were randomly allocated to either a t'ai chi intervention group (n = 106) or a usual medical care control group (n = 107). The t'ai chi group involved 3 × 1.5 h supervised and group-based training sessions per week for 24 weeks. Indicators of HR-QOL were assessed by questionnaire at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Results: There were significant improvements in favor of the t'ai chi group for the SF-36 subscales of physical functioning (p < 0.01), role physical (p < 0.01), and role emotional (p < 0.01) at 12 and 24 weeks. Scores for bodily pain were improved in the control group at 12 weeks (p < 0.01) and 24 weeks (p < 0.05), but not in the t'ai chi group. There was also a significant improvement in favor of the control group in general health (p < 0.05) at 12 weeks, but not at 24 weeks. A further analysis showed clinically significant changes in favor of the t'ai chi group in physical functioning (p < 0.05 or p = 0.05), role physical (p < 0.05), and role emotional (p < 0.05), and in favor of the control group in bodily pain (p < 0.05) at 12 and 24 weeks. Conclusions: The findings show that t'ai chi exercise improved indicators of HR-QOL including physical functioning, role physical, and role emotional in centrally obese adults with depression.
Keywords: central obesity; depression; exercise; quality of life; t'ai chi.