The Movement Disorder Society

MDS 17th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Volume 28,
June 2013 Abstract Supplement

Movement Disorders 2013
Sydney, Australia June 16-20, 2013.

Tai Chi training to reduce falls in patients with Parkinson's disease - A cost-effectiveness analysis

Li ,  F., Harmer ,  P.

Eugene, USA


To conduct a preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis of a Tai Chi intervention that was shown to be effective in reducing falls in patients with Parkinson's disease (Li et al., 2012).


Despite increasing evidence of the benefits of exercise for Parkinson's disease, little is known about the cost effectiveness of various exercise-based modalities.


Class delivery-related expenditures for the intervention conditions (Tai Chi, Resistance Training, Low-impact Stretching) were analyzed, including program promotion, patient enrollment, instructor teaching/training fees and travel expenses, classroom rental, training equipment, participant incentives and transportation, and printing of instructional materials.


Over the course of the study, 186 falls were recorded in the Stretching group, 133 for Resistance and 62 for Tai Chi. Total implementation costs to prevent 124 falls (Stretching vs. Tai Chi) was $102,872 ($791/patient; $830/fall prevented). To prevent 71 falls (Resistance vs. Tai Chi) cost $107,557 ($827/patient; $1,515/fall prevented).


Current estimates indicate 20%-30% of falls in community-dwelling older adults result in injury, with an average healthcare cost of a fall injury being approximately $18,470 (Roudsari et al., 2005; Shumway-Cook et al., 2009). Thus, for the total of 124 falls prevented, approximately 25-37 would have resulted in injury that would cost between $461,750-$683,390 for medical care. For 71 falls prevented, 14-21 would have been injury falls generating $258,580-$387,870 in treatment costs. In sum, these data indicate a significant potential return on investment value of this Tai Chi intervention. As treatment costs for injury falls continue to rise these results have important implications for reducing overall healthcare costs while protecting patient health and independence.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Li, F., Harmer, P.; Tai Chi training to reduce falls in patients with Parkinson's disease - A cost-effectiveness analysis [abstract]. Movement Disorders 2013;28 Suppl 1 :280