Author(s): Wang C
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Abstract BACKGROUND/AIMS: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a serious health problem resulting in significant morbidity and disability. Tai Chi may be beneficial to patients with RA as a result of effects on muscle strength and 'mind-body' interactions. To obtain preliminary data on the effects of Tai Chi on RA, we conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial. Twenty patients with functional class I or II RA were randomly assigned to Tai Chi or attention control in twice-weekly sessions for 12 weeks. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 response criterion, functional capacity, health-related quality of life and the depression index were assessed. RESULTS: At 12 weeks, 5/10 patients (50\%) randomized to Tai Chi achieved an ACR 20\% response compared with 0/10 (0\%) in the control (p = 0.03). Tai Chi had greater improvement in the disability index (p = 0.01), vitality subscale of the Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (p = 0.01) and the depression index (p = 0.003). Similar trends to improvement were also observed for disease activity, functional capacity and health-related quality of life. No adverse events were observed and no patients withdrew from the study. CONCLUSION: Tai Chi appears safe and may be beneficial for functional class I or II RA. These promising results warrant further investigation into the potential complementary role of Tai Chi for treatment of RA.
This article was published in Med Sport Sci
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy