Journal of Applied Gerontology
Mary P. Gallant*, Meaghan Tartaglia, Susan Hardman, and Kara Burke
This study aimed to evaluate a community-based implementation of an evidence-based fall prevention program, in which 131 individuals participated in Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Self-report and functional performance assessments included demographics, health and fall history, the Activities-Specific Balance Scale, the Timed Up and Go test, and the Functional Reach test. Pre–post scores were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The mostly female participants were 73 years old, on average. At baseline, 18% reported being afraid or very afraid of falling, and 18% had fallen in the past 6 months. At follow-up, there was significant improvement in Timed Up and Go (p < .001), Functional Reach (p < .01), and Activities-Specific Balance Scale scores (p < .01). These results demonstrate that a 12-week evidence-based Tai Chi program can be feasibly implemented by novice instructors, is well-received by older adults, and can effectively reduce fall risk when implemented in community settings.
* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff