Tai Chi for older nurses: A workplace wellness pilot study

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Date of Original Version



Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a Tai Chi workplace wellness program as a cost effective way of improving physical and mental health, reducing work related stress, and improving work productivity among older nurses in a hospital setting Design A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group). Design: A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group). Settings: Northeastern academic medical center. Subjects: A convenience sample of eleven female nurses (mean age 54.4 years). Intervention: The Tai Chi group (n = 6) was asked to attend Tai Chi classes once a week offered at their worksite and to practice on their own for 10 minutes each day at least 4 days per week for 15weeks. Controls (n = 5) received no intervention. Measures: SF-36 Health Survey, Nursing Stress Scale (NSS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Sit-and-Reach test, Functional Reach test, the Work Limitations Questionnaire, workplace injury and unscheduled time off. Analysis: The two study groups were compared descriptively and changes across time in the intervention versus control were compared. Results: The Tai Chi group took no unscheduled time-off hours, whereas, the control group was absent 49 hours during the study period. There was also a 3% increase in work productivity and significant improvement in functional reach (p=0.03) compared to the control group. Other outcomes were not statistically significant. Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of Tai Chi with older female workers as a cost effective wellness option in the workplace; thus encouraging replication with a larger sample. Methodological implications were also addressed. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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Applied Nursing Research