Investigation of the effectiveness of Tai Chi exercise program in patients with scleroderma: A randomized controlled study

Author: Sebahat Yaprak Cetin1, Bilge Basakci Calik2, Ayse Ayan3
1 Akdeniz University, Faculty of Health Science, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Antalya, Turkey. Electronic address:
2 Pamukkale University, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Denizli, Turkey. Electronic address:
3 Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Antalya, Turkey. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Clin Pract
Date published: 2020 Aug 1
Other: Volume ID: 40 , Pages: 101181 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101181. , Word Count: 262

and Purpose: There were studies showing the positive effects of Tai Chi on sleep, fatigue, endurance, balance, anxiety and depression in rheumatologic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi exercise program on trunk endurance, balance, sleep, fatigue, anxiety and depression in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Materials and methods:
28 patients were randomly divided into two groups as Tai Chi (n:14, 53.35 ± 10.86 years) and home exercise group (n:14, 52.64 ± 9.45 years). Trunk Lateral Endurance Test, Berg Balance Scale, Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, Fatigue Severity Scale and Fatigue Impact Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used for assesment. All evaluations were performed at baseline and at the end of the 10th week.

After training, a statistically significant difference was observed in all parameters in Tai Chi group (p:0.00); there was a significant difference in trunk endurance and sleep quality in the home exercise group (p:0.00-0.03) compared to pre-training. When the delta values between groups were compared, Tai Chi group was superior to home exercise group in all parameters except trunk endurance (p:0.00-0.01). No side effects were observed during the exercises.

As a result of our study; Tai Chi has a possitive effect on endurance, balance, sleep quality, fatique, anxiety and depression in patients with SSc. Tai Chi should be included in rehabilitation programs as a safe alternative type of exercise to improve trunk endurance, balance, sleep quality and reduce fatigue, anxiety and depression in patients with SSc.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Fatigue; NCT04214925; Number of clinical trial; Scleroderma; Sleep; Tai chi.

PMID: 32891271 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101181