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CDC to Disseminate a Community-based Tai Chi Fall Prevention Program

June 2008 - Previous research findings have demonstrated that Tai Chi exercise can improve balance and decrease falls among older adults. However, it is not clear whether the general community can readily implement or adopt this type of training.

CDC funded a researcher, Dr. Fuzhen Li, at Oregon Research Institute in October 2005 for three years to translate his evidence-based Tai Chi intervention into a user-friendly resource package for communities to be used with adults 60 years and older who are physically mobile, with or without assistive devices.

A 12-week Tai Chi program for adults aged 60 and over, called Moving for Better Balance, was developed and has been implemented in six local senior centers (140 people). The program consists of one-hour classes given twice a week. Dr. Li and his colleagues have conducted a 2-week pilot evaluation and it showed that the program implementation was feasible and evidenced good class attendance, high participant satisfaction, and interest in continuing Tai Chi

Based on feedback from senior service providers and seniors in the program, a user-friendly program package is being developed that includes instructor's manual, instructor supplements, and participants' course book.

The results of this translation and dissemination research will provide an effective, evidence-based fall prevention package for older adults that can be implemented in a community setting. This research will also provide important public health information about the most effective dissemination strategies for program reach, adoption, feasibility, and acceptability.



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