Exercise may be beneficial to older persons living with peripheral neuropathy (PN), but maintaining an exercise program is challenging. After participating in a 12-week tai chi (TC) study, 12 participants requested classes continue. A mixed-methods design was used to explore long-term engagement of older persons with bilateral PN enrolled in a TC class for 18 months beyond the original 3-month study. Pre- and posttest measures of functional status and quality of life (QOL) were conducted. Focus groups were held after 18 months of twice-weekly classes. Psychosocial support was critical to participants’ long-term commitment to exercise. Participants reported, and objective assessments confirmed, increased strength, balance, and stamina beyond that experienced in the original 12-week study. Changes in QOL scores were nonsignificant; however, qualitative data supported clinical significance across QOL domains. Results from this study support psychosocial and physical benefits of TC to older persons.


This article was originally published by SAGE in Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine under a Creative Commons Non commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).


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Hermanns, M., Haas, B. K., Rath, L., Murley, B., Arce-Esquivel, A. A., Ballard, J., & Wang, Y.T. (2018). Impact of tai chi on peripheral neuropathy revisited: A mixed-methods study. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 4, 1-9. doi: 10.1177/2333721418819532



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