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.

Self-report benefits of Tai Chi training by patients with Parkinson's disease

Harmer ,  P., Li ,  F.

Salem, OR, USA


To assess change in patients' perceptions of health-related benefits attributed to Tai Chi participation and how perceived benefits were associated with clinical changes in UPDRS motor scores.


There is increasing empirical evidence that exercise improves the motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson's disease. However, despite the growing emphasis on the importance of the patient in assessing health care options, little is known about patient perceptions of health-related benefits from participation in exercise-based interventions.


Individuals with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease were randomized to Tai Chi (n=65), Resistance Training (n=65), or a Low-impact Stretching group (n=65). Perceptions of health-related benefits of participation, assessed by the Vitality Plus Scale (VPS), and motor symptoms, assessed by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Motor examination (UPDRS-M), were measured at baseline and 6 months.


A significant improvement was observed in VPS and UPDRS-M measures for both Tai Chi and Resistance groups compared to the Stretching group (P<0.05); there was no significant difference between Tai Chi and Resistance groups on VPS or UPDRS. However, for Tai Chi participants, the improvement in the VPS was significantly correlated with improvements in UPDRS motor scores (P<0.05).


Findings from this study indicate that patients in both Tai Chi and Resistance Training interventions positively perceived health-related benefits of exercising. For Tai Chi participants, perceived exercise benefits were associated with reduced motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. These results suggest congruence between perceptions of exercise benefits and Tai Chi intervention efficacy in improving motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease patients.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Harmer, P., Li, F.; Self-report benefits of Tai Chi training by patients with Parkinson's disease [abstract]. Movement Disorders 2013;28 Suppl 1 :319