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A comparative study on the effects of Tai Chi and Matter of Balance on measures of balance and fall efficacy in older adults

Thomas K. Skalko, PhD, LRT/CTRS, FDRT, Lacey A. Burgess, LRT/CTRS, Megan Janke, PhD, LRT/CTRS


The purpose of this study was to compare two intervention strategies, Tai Chi (TC) (n = 12) and Matter of Balance (MOB) (n = 13) on balance and fall efficacy of older adults (≥65 years) as compared to a control group (n = 12). The study compared changes in balance and fall efficacy of the two strategies in an effort to evaluate fall reduction programs for future application. Participants were assessed via a pretest to post-test, 8-10 weeks apart using two balance tests: 8-Foot Up and Go test and the Multi-Directional Reach Test. Fall efficacy was measured with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale. Results from this study indicate that the TC group and MOB group were both effective in improving or maintaining balance and fall efficacy as compared to the control group. Results demonstrated trending toward TC as having a greater impact on participants’ overall balance measures.


Tai Chi, balance, fall efficacy, older adults

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