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The effectiveness of selected Tai Chi exercises in a program of strategic rehabilitation aimed at improving the self-care skills of patients aroused from prolonged coma after severe TBI

Grzegorz Mańko, Artur Ziółkowski, Andrzej Mirski, Michał Kłosiński

Department of Ergonomics and Exertion Physiology, Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:767-772

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889480

Available online:

Published: 2013-09-16

Background: Difficulties in self-care constitute a very common problem for patients recovering from prolonged coma after a severe TBI, and a major factor reducing their quality of life. Effective new rehabilitation programs that would help solve this problem are urgently needed. The purpose of our experiment was to evaluate improvement in this respect in a group of patients aroused from prolonged coma who participated in a goal-oriented rehabilitation program (Rehab-3), enhanced with selected elements of Tai-Chi.
Material and Methods: We examined 40 patients aroused from prolonged coma after a severe TBI, undergoing long-term rehabilitation according to a standard phased rehabilitation program. These patients were divided into two numerically even groups: a control group treated according to the standard program, and an experimental group, who received an additional goal oriented program enhanced with selected Tai-Chi exercises. The research methods included analysis of documentation (MRI, CT), a structured clinical interview, and the Standard Self-Care Scale.
Results: The experimental group achieved significant improvement of self-care skills, whereas in the control group the improvement was slight and not statistically significant. The value of co-efficient j (0.64) indicates a very strong association between the rehabilitation procedure and improved self-care in the experimental group, but not in the control group.
Conclusions: Our results confirmed that a goal-oriented rehabilitation program enhanced with elements of Tai-Chi was more effective than the standard program in improving the performance of activities of daily living.

Keywords: Coma - rehabilitation, Brain Injuries - rehabilitation, Adult, Activities of Daily Living, Interviews as Topic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Tai Ji - methods, Tomography, X-Ray Computed