The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Improving effectiveness of tai chi to prevent falls

    Researchers at the University of Vermont, in Burlington, compared 3 different options.

    First, the details.

    • 64 older adults with a history of falling in the previous year and/or significant fear of falling were assigned to a 24-form, yang-style tai chi for 15 weeks, 3 hours a week.
    • They were randomly assigned to use a program designed to maintain adherence to tai chi.
      • A live, interactive, telecommunication-based exercise (Tele-ex)
      • A similar program through a community center-based exercise (Comm-ex)
      • A home video-based exercise (Home-ex)
    • The researchers recorded exercise compliance, number of falls, fear of falling (Activities-specific Balance Confidence [ABC] score), self-perceived health (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey [SF-36]), Timed Up & Go (TUG), single leg stance (SLS), and body sway during quiet stance.

    And, the results.

    • Tele-ex and Comm-ex groups demonstrated significantly higher exercise attendance and in-class practice time vs Home-ex.
    • Tele-ex and Comm-ex groups demonstrated significant reductions in the average number of falls and injurious falls vs Home-ex.
    • After training there were significant improvements in SLS, ABC, ML-COP, and physical health subscore of the SF-36.
    • Both Tele-ex and Comm-ex groups demonstrated larger improvements than Home-ex in TUG, ML-COP, and the social function, mental health, and physical health subscores of the MOS SF-36.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Compared with the Home-ex, the Tele-ex and Comm-ex groups are better in exercise compliance, fall reduction and balance, and health improvements. Tele-ex is an effective, affordable, and acceptable choice of exercise for elders.”

    My take is there are benefits associated with live interaction, which exceed what can be achieved using a mono-directional approach to communication using a video.

    10/28/10 21:27 JR

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