Tai Chi for Aging Nurses

Tai Chi for Aging Nurses

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a Tai Chi workplace wellness program as a cost effective way of improving physical and mental health, reducing work related stress, and improving work productivity among older nurses in a hospital setting Design A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).

Design: A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).

Settings: Northeastern academic medical center.

Subjects: A convenience sample of eleven female nurses (mean age 54.4 years).

Intervention: The Tai Chi group (n = 6) was asked to attend Tai Chi classes once a week offered at their worksite and to practice on their own for 10 minutes each day at least 4 days per week for 15 weeks. Controls (n = 5) received no intervention.

Measures: SF-36 Health Survey, Nursing Stress Scale (NSS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Sit-and-Reach test, Functional Reach test, the Work Limitations Questionnaire, workplace injury and unscheduled time off.

Analysis: The two study groups were compared descriptively and changes across time in the intervention versus control were compared.

Results: The Tai Chi group took no unscheduled time-off hours, whereas, the control group was absent 49 hours during the study period. There was also a 3% increase in work productivity and significant improvement in functional reach (p=0.03) compared to the control group. Other outcomes were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of Tai Chi with older female workers as a cost effective wellness option in the workplace; thus encouraging replication with a larger sample. Methodological implications were also addressed.

Rank: 77
First Author: Palumbo
Outcome: Stress,Mental Health,General Health
Outcome p-value: Stress:●, Mental Health:●, General Health:●
Intervention Category: Reflection and Relaxation
Time per Employee (hours): 22.5
Hours per Employee: 23
D&B Study Quality Rating: 13.5
Reviewer Confidence: 1.5
Country: US
Study Design Type: RCT
Materials Available to Implement: Intervention was to attend on-site Tai Chi classes once a week and to practice on their own for 10 minutes each day. The Tai Chi instructor had 22 years of experience. Corresponding author: mpalumbo@uvm.edu.
Organiz./Individ. Focus: Individual
Prevention Category: Primary,Secondary
Effect size Small:
Effect size Medium:
Reference: Palumbo, Mary Val, Ge Wu, Hollie Shaner-McRae, Betty Rambur, and Barbara McIntosh. “Tai Chi for Older Nurses: A Workplace Wellness Pilot Study.” Applied Nursing Research 25, no. 1 (February 2012): 54–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2010.01.002.