Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 2011;48(6):699-706.
The effects of Tai-chi exercise for the prevention of long-term care in community-dwelling frail elderly people -New care-need certification and mortality-.
Fujimoto S, Yamazaki S, Wakabayashi A, Matsuzaki Y, Yasumura S.
Department of Public Health, Fukushima Medical University, School of Medicine.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a Tai Chi Yuttari-exercise based care prevention program aimed at frail elderly people on new care-need certification and mortality. Methods: Participants were elderly individuals (≥65 years of age) who lived in Kitakata City and who had experienced a fall in the past year but were not receiving support or long-term care. Those who agreed to participate in the exercise program were the intervention group (n=34), and those who did not participate were the control group (n=84). The intervention program was carried out once a week for a total of 15 times during the period spanning December 5, 2006 to March 22, 2007. In the intervention group we measured and analyzed changes in physical functions and administered a questionnaire before and after the intervention. We confirmed any deaths and determined whether certification for long-term care had been issued to the participants, in March 2010. Results: New care-need certification was issued to 2 participants (6.3%) in the intervention group and 19 (24.1%) in the control group. Logistic regression analysis revealed that participants in the intervention group tended to require less new certification than those in the control group (p=0.098). There was no significant difference in the number of deaths between the intervention (2 participants; 5.9%) and control (5 participants; 6.0%) groups. We observed significant changes between pre- and post-intervention on several variables, including motor fitness scale, maximum walking speed over 10 meters, functional reach test, ability to stand after a long period of sitting, and maximum one step width. Conclusion: The Tai Chi Yuttari-exercise based intervention program for frail elderly people reduced the need for new care-need certification and was useful as a care prevention program.