of Arizona College of Nursing is seeking stroke survivors to participate in a free 12 week program of tai chi to determine
if this low-impact exercise is effective in improving physical functioning or quality of life following a stroke.
The "Tai Chi Exercise for Stroke Survivors
Study", conducted by Assistant Professor Ruth E. Taylor-Pileae, PhD, R.N. is looking for Tucson-area adults aged 50 or older
who suffered a stroke at least three months ago, and who are currently enrolled in, or previously had stroke rehabilitation.
Physical activity and exercise
training are important aspects of stroke rehabilitation to reduce disability, and most rehab programs traditionally include
western forms of exercise such as cycling or walking, Dr. Taylor-Piliae explained
Tai chi has been shown to improve balance, strength, flexibility, aerobic endurance,
and quality of life in research studies involving non-stroke populations (e.g. frail or fall-prone, chronic heart failure).
This U of A study will examine the effect of a 12 week tai chi exercise intervention on physical functioning, quality
of life, and exercise behavior among stroke survivors, compared to Silver Sneakers tm and traditional rehab.
Study participants will be randomly assigned to three months
of free tai chi instruction from a tai chi master in Tucson, SilverSneakers classes taught by a certified instructor, or receive weekly phone calls with recommendations
for participating in a community-based physical activity program. Participants will be evaluated for balance, strength,
walking speed and aerobic endurance at the beginning of the study, immediately after the intervention at 12 weeks, and at
a 24-week follow-up.
study is being funded by an American Heart Association National Scientist Development Grant and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nurse Faculty Scholar Grant.
NOTE...THE STUDY HAS BEEN COMPLETED AFTER 4 + YEARS.
THIS WAS A REMARKABLE TIME FOR ME WORKING WITH PEOPLE OF GREAT HEART AND DETERMINATION.
THE RESEARCH PAPER WILL BE PUBLISHED NEAR FEBRUARY 2013. A
PRESENTATION BY THE RESEARCHER, RUTH TAYLOR-PILIAE PhD, SHOWED THAT THE TAI CHI GROUP AS A WHOLE PERFORMED AS WELL PHYSICALLY
AS A COMPARISON GROUP DOING MORE STRENUOUS EXERCISES. THE TAI CHI GROUP, HOWEVER, HAD 1/3, (ONE THIRD), THE NUMBER
OF FALLS AS THE CONTROL AND COMPARISON GROUPS, A RESULT OF IMPROVED BALANCE.