Effects of tai chi on postural balance and quality of life among the elderly with gait disorders: A systematic review

Author: Fan Xu1, Kim Geok Soh1, Yoke Mun Chan2, Xiao Rong Bai3, Fengmeng Qi1, Nuannuan Deng1
1 Faculty of Education Studies, Department of Sport Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia.
2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Dietetics, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia.
3 Faculty of Sports Studies, Huzhou University, Huzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: PLoS One
Date published: 2023 Sep 28
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Issue ID: 9 , Pages: e0287035 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287035. , Word Count: 281

Tai Chi is good for improving the physical fitness of older adults. But few studies have reported the effects of Tai Chi on the postural balance and quality of life of older adults with gait disorders.

This review aimed to assess the influence of tai chi on postural stability and quality of life in older adults with abnormal gait.

According to the literature retrieval principles, the works published from the inception date to May 2023 were retrieved, including the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar. Subsequently, literature screening and quality assessment were performed.

A total of 16 randomized controlled trials were included in this study, Tai Chi intervention can affect populations with Parkinson's disease (PD), no exercise, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), chronic stroke, sedentary, fear of falling, or history of falling. Postural instability is associated with balance, gait, the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Motor Subscale 3 (UPDRS III), mobility, lower body strength, and falls. Only two articles looked at quality of life. The Yang style is the most commonly used in the intervention. Nonetheless, most studies were performed on female participants, hence, more research on older male populations is needed.

Tai Chi intervention benefits postural balance in patients with gait disorders. 12 weeks is the most common intervention period for patients with gait disorders. The frequency of intervention is seven articles twice a week, and the intervention time is about 60 minutes. The Tai Chi intervention methods in this study involve Yang Style, Sun Style, Taoist Tai Chi, and Health Qigong Tai Chi, but the Yang Style Tai Chi intervention is the most widely used.

PMID: 37768953 PMCID: PMC10538728 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287035