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A randomized, controlled pilot study was performed to determine the correlation between the practice of Tai Chi exercise and anxiety scores, among full-time pre-med undergraduate students who reside in college campus housing. The sample (N = 14) was recruited from 70 pre-med students enrolled at Lake Erie College (LEC) located in Painesville, Ohio. Participants included: (a) full-time LEC pre-med students; (b) between 18 and 25 years old; and (c) residents of either on-campus housing or within two miles of the college campus. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (a) Tai Chi (n = 8); (b) control (n = 6). The Tai Chi group received instruction from a certified instructor, three times a week for five weeks. The control group received no training. Both groups completed a basic health history questionnaire including blood pressure and pulse measurements, maintained a physical activity log, and completed a pre and post measure of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)© scale. The p-value of .334 between pre-study control and Tai Chi groups was greater than the alpha level at 0.05. The p-value of .101 between post-study control and Tai Chi groups was greater than the alpha level at 0.05. The small sample size of this pilot limited the generalizability of this study. Therefore, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the true mean anxiety change between the pre-test and post-test in pre-med students taking Tai Chi was greater than the true mean anxiety change between the pre-test and post-test in pre-med students maintaining normal daily activities. However, this was a small pilot study, and research suggests the anxiety lowering effects of Tai Chi, therefore this research will be expanded for a multi-center study.
Tai Chi, pre-med students, anxiety
Medical Education | Mental and Social Health
Weber, Joseph G.; Coleman, Suzanne; Johannsson, Mark; and Hill, Libby, "Tai Chi and Stress Reduction in Premedical Students" (2014). Learning Showcase 2014. 41.