The novel effectiveness of Tai Chi on cardiopulmonary fitness among stroke patients in the recovery phase: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

BACKGROUND Stroke is the leading cause of death worldwide. China faces a similar risk of stroke as developed countries because of considerable changes in lifestyle, such as overeating and smoking. Tai Chi is a traditional form of mind-body exercise that has been widely practiced in China for thousands of years. However, there are few studies on the effect of Tai Chi on the cardiopulmonary function of stroke patients in the recovery phase. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the effect of Tai Chi on the cardiorespiratory fitness of patients after stroke. METHODS This is a parallel-design, two-arm, analyst assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial. A total of 226 stroke patients in the recovery phase will be recruited and assigned randomly to a control group or Tai Chi group at a 1:1 ratio. The patients in the Tai Chi group will perform the Tai Chi exercise. The patients in the control group will perform walking exercises. Patients in both groups will receive conventional treatments and healthy education. The primary outcomes will be VO 2peak and scores on the MOS item short form health survey (SF-36) scale. Secondary outcomes will include vital capacity (VC), ejection fractions (EF), and cardiac output (CO). The assessments of the tests will be performed at three time points (before exercise, at the end of exercise, and 6 weeks after exercise). Adverse events will be recorded faithfully during the study. DISCUSSION If the results are positive, this study will contribute to the establishment of further guided Tai Chi rehabilitation programs. TRIAL REGISTRATION Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR2000034719 . Registered on 16 July 2020.
as reported in: Trials. 2021 Sep 13; 22(1): 614