A supplemental report to a randomized cluster trial of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi for osteoarthritic knee pain in elders with cognitive impairment.
Complement Ther Med. 2015 Aug ;23(4):570-6. Epub 2015 Jun 9. PMID: 26275650
OBJECTIVE: This was a secondary data analysis of a cluster-randomized clinical trial that tested the efficacy of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi (TC) program in reducing pain in community-dwelling elders with cognitive impairment and knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study also examined whether elders' level of cognitive function was related to the outcomes of the TC program.
METHOD: Elders (N=55) were recruited from 8 study sites. Each site was randomly assigned to participate in either a 20-week TC or an education program. Verbal report of pain was measured by a Verbal Descriptor Scale (VDS) at weeks 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21 (designated as times 1-6). Pain behaviors and analgesic intake were also recorded at times 1-6.
RESULTS: At post-test, scores on the VDS and observed pain behaviors were significantly better in the TC group than in the control group (p=0.008-0.048). The beneficial effects of TC were not associated with cognitive ability.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that TC can be used as an adjunct to pharmacological intervention to relieve OA pain in elders with cognitive impairment.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trial.gov NCT01528566.