Acceptability of a tai chi intervention for people living with dementia and their informal carers


  • Y. Barrado-Martín
  • S.R. Nyman
  • M. Heward
  • R. Polman


Background: Falls are a public health issue amongst older adults. Exercise interventions are effective in preventing falls, however, few intervention studies have involved people living with dementia and explored their experiences. This study identifies the factors that influence participants’ acceptability of a group- and home-based Tai Chi intervention delivered with dyads (older people living with mild-to-moderate dementia and their informal family carers). This will inform how to make exercise interventions more attractive to them. Methods: 10 dyads from two localities in the South of England took part in weekly Tai Chi classes and practised at home over a period of 3 or 4 weeks. Field notes were used to record researcher’s observations during classes, as well as dyads and instructor’s feedback at the end of the classes. Feedback and improvement suggestions from participants were sought at the end of the 3/4 weeks through 2 focus groups (1 at each locality). Thematic analysis of the field notes and transcripts was managed in Nvivo.11. Findings: The preliminary findings were: Participants enjoyed the classes, the socialising component and valued the instructor´s qualities. Dyads discovered a new common activity, appreciated the role of repetition to learn the movements and the importance of incorporating home-practice into their routines. Main barrier for their acceptability of the intervention was following the booklet provided to support their home practice. Discussion: The results of this study provide valuable information about areas of improvement (e.g., recruitment, research procedures and supporting materials) for future exercise interventions for people living with dementia.





Oral presentations