How Community Programs Can Make Tai Chi More Effective for Falls Prevention
ATCQA members and certified instructors/practitioners can read the full content of these two guidelines on ATCQA website.
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March 27, 2017 -
Older adult falls continue to be a public health priority across the United States - Massachusetts (MA) being no exception. The MA Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) program within the MA Department of Public Health aims to reduce the physical and economic burdens of chronic health conditions by linking evidence-based clinical care with community intervention programs.
The PWTF partnerships that focused on older adult falls prevention integrated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death and Injuries toolkit into clinical settings. Partnerships also offer referrals for home safety assessments, Tai Chi, and Matter of Balance programs.
With the unprecedented expansion of the U.S. Medicare beneficiary population, and the escalating incidence of falls, widespread adoption of effective prevention strategies will become increasingly important for both public health and for controlling healthcare costs. The lessons learned from this PWTF initiative offer insights and recommendations for future falls prevention program development and implementation.
Some of the lessons learned about Tai Chi from this study include -
"Tai Chi is group classes that are more cost-effective and beneficial when meeting recommended enrollment numbers."
"Tai Chi completion rates are even lower due to the long duration of the program, therefore, enrollment goals should be more than double the number expected to complete."
"Tai Chi must be practiced for a total of 50?h before benefits are seen. However, recruiting participants for such a significant time commitment proved difficult. Successful strategies to address this."
The Ottawa Panel Guideline strongly recommends a 20-week Sun style Tai Chi exercise program (20 to 40-minute classes three times per week) for the management of knee osteoarthritis.