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Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on Type 2 Diabetes: A Feasibility Study

Author(s): Chwan-Li Shen | Du Feng | M. Christina R. Esperat | Brian K. Irons | Ming-C. Chyu | Gloria M. Valdez | Eve Y. Thompson

Journal: Integrative Medicine Insights
ISSN 1177-3936

Volume: 2;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Mind-body exercise | hemoglobin A1C | fasting blood glucose

This feasibility study investigated the effects of Tai Chi, a mind-body exercise, on management of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. A total of 25 subjects (20-70 years) were recruited to participate in two 60-minute instructed Tai Chi exercise sessions each week for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures (physiological variables) were hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) taken at baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention, and self-reported fasting blood glucose level measured at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks of intervention. The secondary outcome measures (psychosocial variables) were Diabetes Quality of Life Questionnaire (Diabetes-39) and Exercise Self-Effi cacy administered at baseline and 12 weeks. A semi-structured interview was conducted at the end of the study (week 12). Paired t-tests was employed to determine all pre- and postintervention measurement changes, while individual growth curves were generated to show changes in fasting blood glucose levels during the study period. A rather high attrition rate of 48% was observed among the participants. The data showed no signifi cant effect of Tai Chi on HbA1c and self-reported fasting blood glucose, although there seemed to be a trend of lowered HbA1c. Analysis of subjects’ response suggested a positive experience for those who completed the intervention.
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