176683 Simple, effective, fun, and available—essential factors for the successful continuation of an evidence-based Taiji (T'ai Chi) and Qigong (Chi Kung) exercise program at a local senior center following a six month research intervention

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yang Yang, PhD , Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
One well-known difficulty in effectively translating physical activity research into practice is that research staff bring a level of expertise and quality control in behavior interventions that is typically greater than that of health care workers charged with implementing research curriculum. In spring 2005 University of Illinois researchers completed a six month randomized controlled trial on older adults (mean age 80.4, std. dev. 8.6) on the efficacy of Taiji for balance and strength. Since then, one novice health care worker has successfully adopted the Taiji-Qigong (TQ) program used in that intervention and has institutionalized the program at a local senior living center. Nine older adults initially participated in TQ training at that facility during the intervention. Due to the efforts of the Activities Director there, and without additional support or training from research staff, the TQ exercise program has become the most popular activity at the center and active participation has now expanded to a total attendance of approximately 40 participants.

Whereas the intervention curriculum was designed and taught by a nationally recognized instructor with over 30 years of traditional TQ training, the health care worker that institutionalized the program received initial training along with intervention participants. According to the curriculum designer, successful institutionalization of TQ exercise requires that the program be adaptable, easily learned, and enjoyable, the benefits quickly perceived by the participants, and organized instruction made readily available.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the factors which allowed for the successful continuation of TQ research curriculum at a local senior center. 2. Experience the exercise and recognize how the curriculum designer simplified the practice yet maintained the essence of traditional practice. 3. List characteristics that affect the rate and the extent of successful adoption of exercise on a large scale (Diffusion of Innovations Theory) and specific barriers to the broader diffusion of TQ.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator and designed the curriculum for the research intervention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.