A Feasibility Study Assessing the Safety and Benefits of Seated Sun-Style Tai Chi among Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis
AdvisorTaylor-Piliae, Ruth E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBackground: An estimated 80% of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) do not meet daily physical activity recommendations. Low-impact physical activity that can be performed seated, such as Tai Chi, may be especially beneficial for individuals with MS having greater disability burden. Tai Chi is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, and standing forms have been studied among individuals with MS. Methods: A quasi-experimental, single group pretest-posttest study was used to explore the effects of the Tai Chi intervention on personal (physical function, exercise self-efficacy, MS-related symptoms), behavioral (physical activity, exercise habits, exercise planning, exercise goal setting), and environmental factors (social support), using Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory as the theoretical framework. Results: This study enrolled 25 individuals with MS in seated Sun-Style Tai Chi classes for one hour, twice weekly, over 12 weeks. Study retention was 88%, class attendance was 75%, and study satisfaction was 86.4%. No serious adverse events occurred during the classes. MS-related symptoms were measured every four weeks over a 16-week period. While this Tai Chi intervention study was not powered to detect significant differences in personal, behavioral, or environmental factors, there were significant improvements at eight-weeks in depression (p=.006), 95% CI [-6.37, -1.07], and anxiety scores (p=.028), 95% CI [-5.16, -0.30], and significant improvements at 12-weeks in depression (p=.002), 95% CI [-6.47, -1.39] and exercise goals scores (p=0.015). Improvements in scores were non-significant for fatigue (p=.099), lower extremity function (p=.922), exercise self-efficacy (p=.295), subjective physical activity (p=.118), and sub scores of social support from family and friends including family participation (p=.516), family rewards (p=.210), and friend participation (p=.349). Pain intensity (p=0.849) and pain interference (p=0.882) scores increased at four weeks and trended down as the study progressed. Exercise planning (p=.116) and upper extremity function scores (p=.176) decreased at 12 weeks. Conclusion: This study filled an important gap in our knowledge of potential benefits of physical activity among individuals with MS by determining adherence, feasibility, and safety for future research assessing the use of sun-style seated Tai Chi among individuals with MS.
Degree ProgramGraduate College