Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance—Development of a Community-Based Falls Prevention Program

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study was designed to develop an evidence- and community-based falls prevention program—Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance.

Methods:

A mixed qualitative and quantitative approach was used to develop a package of materials for program implementation and evaluation. The developmental work was conducted in 2 communities in the Pacific Northwest. Participants included a panel of experts, senior service program managers or activity coordinators, and older adults. Outcome measures involved program feasibility and satisfaction.

Results:

Through an iterative process, a program package was developed. The package contained an implementation plan and class training materials (ie, instructor’s manual, videotape, and user’s guidebook). Pilot testing of program materials showed that the content was appropriate for the targeted users (community-living older adults) and providers (local senior service organizations). A feasibility survey indicated interest and support from users and providers for program implementation. A 2-week pilot evaluation showed that the program implementation was feasible and evidenced good class attendance, high participant satisfaction, and interest in continuing Tai Chi.

Conclusions:

The package of materials developed in this study provides a solid foundation for larger scale implementation and evaluation of the program in community settings.

Li and Fisher are with the Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR 97403. Harmer is with the Dept of Exercise Science, Willamette University, Salem, OR 97301. Mack and Sleet are with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30047. Kohn and Millet are with the Oregon Dept of Human Services, Portland OR 97201. Xu is with Coach Xu Institute, Federal Way, WA 55281. Yang is with the University of Zhejiang, HangZhou, China. Sutton is with the Willamalane Adult Activity Center, Springfield, OR 97477. Tompkins is with the Campbell Senior Center, Eugene, OR 97401.