Tai Chi for Upper Limb Rehabilitation in Stroke Patients
July 25, 2016 -
A Canadian study, published in June 2016
issue of Disability and rehabilitation,
aimed at exploring the perceived benefits and drawbacks of practicing Tai Chi,
an alternative therapy that can be implemented in the community, as part of
upper-limb rehabilitation following stroke.
Semi-structured interviews were carried out
with participants with chronic stroke (over 6 months). The participants took
part in 16 Tai Chi sessions over 8 weeks. Interviews were conducted in person
using an interview guide based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), and a
thematic analysis was conducted.
Eight interviews were carried out with
participants at various stages of motor recovery. Participants perceived a
number of physical, functional, and psychological benefits. They found Tai Chi
to be a global exercise, including both physical and mental aspects, and
suggested that it can be included as part of rehabilitation for stroke patients.
Many participants expressed a desire to continue practicing Tai Chi after
completion of the study because it exceeded their expectations, among other
This study can serve to guide future Tai Chi
interventions and research on Tai Chi for rehabilitation in terms of the
characteristics of the intervention and the various areas to assess in order to
measure the overall benefits.
IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Tai Chi was perceived as a good
way of integrating various skills learned during rehabilitation. Despite having
different functional abilities, all the participants noted various physical,
functional, and psychological benefits from participating in the tai chi
sessions. Tai Chi seems to be a form of exercise that stroke patients would
perform more long-term since all the participants in this study expressed the
desire to continue practicing Tai Chi.