American public health researchers have found an evidence-based tai chi programme to be a cost-effective intervention for preventing falls in seniors. They evaluated the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) programme at 36 senior centres. Trained TJQMBB instructors delivered the programme to community-dwelling older adults for 48 weeks, with a six-month post-intervention follow-up. TJQMBB was adopted by 89 per cent of the senior centres approached and reached 90 per cent of the target population. The program resulted in a 49 per cent reduction in the total number of falls and improved seniors’ physical performance. Participation was well maintained after the programme’s completion. The average cost-effectiveness ratio for the 48-week program implementation was $916 per fall prevented for single falls and $676 per fall prevented for multiple falls.
Implementing an Evidence-Based Fall Prevention Intervention in Community Senior Centers. Am J Public Health. 2016 Nov;106(11):2026-2031.