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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 May 2020 - 15 May 2020


Human Studies

2020 May 05

J Altern Complement Med

The Benefits of T’ai Chi for Older Adults with Chronic Back Pain: A Qualitative Study.


Lee TL, Sherman KJ, Hawkes RJ, Phelan EA, Turner JA
J Altern Complement Med. 2020 May 05.
PMID: 32379976.


To determine the perceived benefits of in older adults with chronic low-back pain (cLBP). A qualitative analysis from a randomized controlled feasibility trial. Eighteen participants (65+ years old) with cLBP of at least moderate intensity. A 36-week intervention beginning with twice weekly classes for 12 weeks, weekly classes for 6 weeks, biweekly classes for 6 weeks, and monthly classes for 12 weeks. Participants were asked to practice at home on nonclass days and videos were provided to assist in that process. Participants in the focus groups were asked to provide feedback on their experiences with the study as well as the benefits of their practice. We used demographic and class attendance data to describe the sample. Regarding the benefits of practice, five major themes were identified: functional benefits, pain reduction/pain relief, psychospiritual benefits, the importance of social support in learning , and the integration of into daily activities. The most common functional benefits were improvements in balance, flexibility, leg strength, and posture. Some reported pain reduction or pain relief, but others did not. Increased relaxation, mindfulness, and a sense of connectedness were subthemes that emerged from psychospiritual benefits. Social support benefits included motivation to attend class and group support while learning a new skill. Finally, improved body awareness allowed participants to integrate skills into their daily activities. This qualitative analysis demonstrates the multifaceted benefits of for older adults living with cLBP.