MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Fuzhong Li, Ph.D.
Oregon Research Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Injurious falls among community-dwelling older adults are a serious public health and cost-bearing problem worldwide.Exercise has been shown to reduce falls and injurious falls among older adults. However, evidence is limited with regard to the type of exercise interventions that are most effective, without exacerbating the risk in some individuals, in reducing injurious falls.
This study addresses this knowledge gap in the field of falls prevention. Findings from this study showed that a six-month Tai Ji Quan program reduced the incidence of injurious falls among frail elderly by 53% compared to a regular (multimodal) exercise intervention. The effect of the Tai Ji Quan intervention was shown to be robust, and still evident at follow-up examinations six months after the study.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Tai Ji Quan, compared with conventional multimodal exercise and stretching exercise, is effective in reducing injurious falls. The Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance intervention is a therapeutically tailored balance-training intervention that can be broadly implemented in community senior centers for primary prevention of falls among community-dwelling older adults.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future efforts should be directed toward testing and establishing the efficacy of Tai Ji Quan to reduce falls and injurious falls among older adults living in assisted living facilities and with cognitive impairment.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: We believe the findings from this study offer timely information that clinicians can use to counsel patients about the benefit of exercise, including Tai Ji Quan, and inform healthcare planners in making resource allocation decisions to reduce the societal burden of injurious falls. For additional information about the specific Tai Ji Quan used in this study, please visit tjqmbb.org.
In terms of disclosures, the primary author is the founder and owner of Exercise Alternatives, LLC, a scientific consulting company, to which a voluntary licensing fee for Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance is paid.
Li F, Harmer P, Eckstrom E, Fitzgerald K, Chou L, Liu Y. Effectiveness of Tai Ji Quan vs Multimodal and Stretching Exercise Interventions for Reducing Injurious Falls in Older Adults at High Risk of Falling: Follow-up Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(2):e188280. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.8280
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