Current High Profile Studies about Tai Chi
April 23, 2015 -
Harvard Medical School is currently conducting 2 separate studies about how Tai
Chi may help patients with COPD.
One of the studies, with the title "Tai Chi After Pulmonary Rehabilitation in
Patients With COPD: A Randomized Trial", aims to
determine the feasibility and effects of a 6-month Tai Chi exercise program as
compared to a 6-month group walking program and standard care for patients with
COPD that have recently completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
The study is scheduled to complete by September 2017.
The other study, "Breathing,
Education, Awareness and Movement in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease", is
being conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of
Harvard Medical School. The main purpose of this study is to determine
feasibility and effects of a 12-week Tai Chi
program and a 12-week mind-body breathing program in patients with COPD.
This study is planned to finish by February 2016.
At another Ivy League university, Brown University, its medical school is
developing a Tai Chi based exercise program designed for patients who recently
had a heart attack and do not wish, or are unable, to attend traditional cardiac
The researchers will estimate the feasibility, acceptability and safety of two
different doses of the Tai Chi intervention. 60 patients (30 per dose arm) will
be randomly assigned to a standard dose of Tai Chi (the dose used by our group
in large studies of heart failure patients) or to a high dose matching the
recommended frequency and duration of exercise classes in current
They plan to complete the study by August of 2016.
Dr. Chenchen Wang, a prominent medical researcher for Tai Chi, is leading a
research project, Tai Chi and Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia, at the Medical
Center of Tufts University.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic
musculoskeletal pain syndrome that causes substantial physical and psychological
impairment and costs over $25 billion annually. Dr. Chenchen Wang and her team
propose to conduct the first comparative effectiveness trial of Tai Chi vs.
aerobic exercise (a recommended component of the current standard of care) and
to evaluate effectiveness under different Tai Chi dosing schedules in a large FM
They aim to (1) demonstrate that, compared
to aerobic exercise, Tai Chi is a more effective intervention for managing the
pain and improving the functional limitations that impact quality of life for FM
patients, and 2) determine the optimal frequency and duration of a supervised
Tai Chi intervention in relation to short and long-term effectiveness.
To achieve this goal, they will conduct a
single-blind, randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi vs. aerobic exercise in 216
patients who meet the American College of Rheumatology criteria for FM.
Successful completion of the proposed study will determine the ideal regimen of
Tai Chi and demonstrate that Tai Chi can be a simple, effective, and durable
treatment for this therapeutically challenging disorder.
The project is scheduled to finish in January 2016.