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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9134173, 12 pages
Research Article

Effect of Tai Chi Training on Dual-Tasking Performance That Involves Stepping Down among Stroke Survivors: A Pilot Study

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to William Wai-Nam Tsang

Received 27 June 2017; Accepted 10 October 2017; Published 15 November 2017

Academic Editor: Darren R. Williams

Copyright © 2017 Wing-Nga Chan and William Wai-Nam Tsang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Descending stairs demands attention and neuromuscular control, especially with dual-tasking. Studies have demonstrated that stroke often degrades a survivor’s ability to descend stairs. Tai Chi has been shown to improve dual-tasking performance of healthy older adults, but no such study has been conducted in stroke survivors. This study investigated the effect of Tai Chi training on dual-tasking performance that involved stepping down and compared it with that of conventional exercise among stroke survivors. Subjects were randomized into Tai Chi (), conventional exercise (), and control () groups. Those in the former two groups received 12-week training. Assessments included auditory Stroop test, stepping down test, and dual-tasking test involving both simultaneously. They were evaluated before training (time-1), after training (time-2), and one month after training (time-3). Tai Chi group showed significant improvement in the auditory Stroop test from time-1 to time-3 and the performance was significantly better than that of the conventional exercise group in time-3. No significant effect was found in the stepping down task or dual-tasking in the control group. These results suggest a beneficial effect of Tai Chi training on cognition among stroke survivors without compromising physical task performance in dual-tasking. The effect was better than the conventional exercise group. Nevertheless, further research with a larger sample is warranted.