Korean J Rehabil Nurs.  2021 Jun;24(1):67-77. 10.7587/kjrehn.2021.67.

Effects of Tai Chi Exercise Program on Cognitive Function among Older Adults at Risk for Dementia Living in Rural Areas

Affiliations
  • 1Professor, College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Lecturer, College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 3Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 4Graduate Student, Graduate School, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study aimed to examine the effects of the Tai Chi exercise program on cognitive function among older adults at risk of dementia living in rural areas.
Methods
A non-equivalent control group with a pretest-posttest design was used. Forty-four subjects at risk of dementia aged over 75 were recruited from the dementia care center in O county. The experimental group participated in the Tai Chi exercise program twice a week for one-hour session for 12 weeks, while the control group received the routine management from the dementia care center. Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 24.0 program with descriptive statistics, x2 test, and Mann-Whitney test, t-test and ANCOVA.
Results
The significant improvement was found in cognitive function (F=4.72, p=.036) and attention (F=4.44, p=.041) for the Tai Chi exercise group compared to the control group. No adverse events have been notified during the intervention.
Conclusion
The study findings suggest that Tai Chi exercise program is safely and effectively applied to older adults at risk of dementia, revealing the potential benefits to improve cognitive function in this population. Further studies are warranted to explore the relationship between physical exercise and cognitive function in older adults with various types of cognitive impairment.

Keyword

Elderly; Cognition; Tai Chi; Cognitive impairment
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