July 24, 2018 - The traditional 24-form Tai Chi has some complex movements beyond of capabilities of patients with COPD. A new Chinese study published by the journal Complementary therapies in medicine sought to modify and simplify 24-form Tai Chi and evaluate effects of the modified Tai Chi on lung function, exercise capacity, dyspnea symptom and health status in patients with COPD.
A two-step procedure was applied: an initial qualitative research module consisting of focus group discussion, expert consultation and patient interviews was conducted to simplified and modified 24-form Tai Chi for patients with COPD. Then, a randomized controlled trial consisting of 60 patients with II to IV COPD was conducted to evaluate effects of the modified Tai Chi on lung function, exercise capacity, dyspnea symptom and health status. All measures were obtained at baseline, 3-month follow-up and 9-month follow-up.
At the end of this study, a new simpler 6-form Tai Chi that combines characteristics of COPD, the experts' wisdom and patients' needs was developed. Patients with COPD can grasp it in about 3?hours and participants showed 86% adherence to the Tai Chi training and no negative accidents occurred. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) showed that there were significant differences in lung function, exercise capacity and health status over time. However, no statistical significance in dyspnea symptom was found between the 2 groups over time.
The results show that this modified 6-form Tai Chi routine is easy to grasp, easy to adhere to, safe to practice and effective to improve lung function, exercise capacity, health status and to prevent dyspnea symptom from getting worse for patients with COPD and it can be recommended as a suitable exercise therapy for them.