Tai Chi Can Improve the Self-care Skills of Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
September 26, 2013 -
Difficulties in self-care constitute a
very common problem for patients recovering from prolonged coma after a severe
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and a major factor reducing their quality of life.
Effective new rehabilitation programs that would help solve this problem are
Jagiellonian University of Poland did an experiment to
evaluate improvement in this respect in a group of patients aroused from
prolonged coma who participated in a goal-oriented rehabilitation program
(Rehab-3), enhanced with selected elements of Tai-Chi.
The researchers examined 40 patients aroused from prolonged
coma after a severe TBI, undergoing long-term rehabilitation according to a
standard phased rehabilitation program. These patients were divided into two
numerically even groups: a control group treated according to the standard
program, and an experimental group, who received an additional goal oriented
program enhanced with selected Tai-Chi exercises.
The research methods included analysis of documentation (MRI,
CT), a structured clinical interview, and the Standard Self-Care Scale.
The experimental group achieved significant improvement of
self-care skills, whereas in the control group the improvement was slight and
not statistically significant. The value of co-efficient j indicates a very
strong association between the rehabilitation procedure and improved self-care
in the experimental group, but not in the control group.
The results from this experiment confirmed that a
goal-oriented rehabilitation program enhanced with elements of Tai-Chi was more
effective than the standard program in improving the performance of activities
of daily living.
The research is published in the Sept 2013 issue of the
international medical journal of experimental and clinical research.