The Effects of Tai Chi Practice With Asynchronous Music on Compliance and Fall-Related Risk Factors in Middle-Aged and Older Women: A Pilot Study

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Purpose: This study examined whether practicing Tai Chi (TC) along with music can maximize the effects of TC on compliance and fall-related risk factors (Dynamic Gait Index and fear of falling). Design: A convenient sample was recruited in a community senior center. Eighteen women aged 50 to 84 years (9 White, 9 Black) were block randomly assigned to a TC in silence (TC + S; n = 6) or a TC with music (TC + M; n = 12) class. Method: Thirteen participants (4 in TC + S group, 9 in TC + M group) with completed pre- and posttests were included in the final analysis. Paired t tests were conducted to examine changes within groups over time and analysis of covariance was used to assess group differences. Findings: After 15 weeks of intervention, balance increased in both groups with significantly higher benefits in the TC + M group (p < .05). Fear of falling scores improved in TC + M group and compliance rate was higher in this group. Conclusions: Practicing TC + M may help increase adherence in White and Black middle-aged and older women, and maximize the effects of TC on fall-related risk factors. Studies with more rigorous study design, including musical considerations, are warranted.

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