Chinese stroke survivors’ perceptions of participation in exercise or sitting Tai Chi

Jie Zhao, Yuli Zang, Janita Pak Chun Chau*, Rong He, David R. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Aims: Exercise promotes functional recovery among stroke survivors and is recommended to be commenced as soon as is feasible. However, little is known about stroke survivors’ perception of participation in exercise or sitting Tai Chi, a more culturally appropriate and popular movement in China. To explore Chinese stroke survivors’ perceptions of participation in exercise or sitting Tai Chi. 

Methods and results:  Face-to-face semi-structured interviews and content analysis of transcripts were conducted with a purposive and results sample of 30 stroke survivors. The qualitative study explored perceptions of post-stroke participation in exercise or sitting Tai Chi. The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research checklist was used to report findings. Perceived facilitators of exercise participation were healthcare professionals’ encouragement and recommendations, family and peer support and survivors’ motivation, intention, and self-perceived benefits. Perceived barriers were fear of falling, physical discomfort, and challenges in standing. Despite some reservations, most participants were willing to try sitting Tai Chi. 

Conclusions: Encouragement and support, motivation, and perceived benefits were important for exercise participation after stroke. With the premise that all medical and nursing students in China are trained in Tai Chi, for stroke survivors with no access to formal exercise programmes, sitting Tai Chi may offer an appropriate alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date19 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. VC The Author(s) 2021.


  • Exercise Tai Chi
  • Nurse-led intervention
  • Qualitative research
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Stroke survivor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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