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Tai chi qigong as a means to improve night-time sleep quality among older adults with cognitive impairment: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Authors Chan AWK, Yu DSF, Choi KC, Lee DTF, Sit JWH, Chan HYL

Received 3 May 2016

Accepted for publication 6 June 2016

Published 16 September 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1277—1286

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S111927

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Zhi-Ying Wu

Aileen WK Chan, Doris SF Yu, KC Choi, Diana TF Lee, Janet WH Sit, Helen YL Chan

The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Age-related cognitive decline is a growing public health concern worldwide. More than a quarter of adults with cognitive impairment experience sleep disturbance. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the preliminary effects of tai chi qigong (TCQ) on improving the night-time sleep quality of older adults with cognitive impairment.
Participants: Older adults with cognitive impairment who complain of sleep disturbance.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial with two groups. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from two district elderly community centers and randomly assigned to either the TCQ group (n=27) or the control group (n=25). The intervention group received TCQ training consisting of two 60-minute sessions each week for 2 months. The control group was advised to maintain their usual activities. Sleep quality was measured by the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Quality of life was measured by Short-form 12, cognitive functions measured by mini-mental state examination, and subjective memory deficits measured by the memory inventory for Chinese.
Results: Data were collected at baseline, 2 months, and 6 months. Significant results were noted at 6 months in the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index global score (P=0.004), sleep duration (P=0.003), habitual sleep efficiency (P=0.002), and the Short-form 12 mental health component (P<0.001). The TCQ participants reported better sleep quality and a better (quality of life) mental health component than the control group.
Conclusion: TCQ can be considered a useful nonpharmacological approach for improving sleep quality in older adults with cognitive impairment.Clinical trial registration: CUHK_CCT00448 (https://www2.ccrb.cuhk.edu.hk/registry/public/287).

Keywords: cognitive decline, mind–body exercise, nonpharmacological approach, sleep disturbances

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