arthritis, COVID-19, fall prevention, older adults, tai chi, virtual programming



  1. Lee, Kathleen MSN, RN
  2. Galet, Colette PhD
  3. Lilienthal, Michele MA, RN
  4. Skeete, Dionne MD, MS


ABSTRACT: To minimize COVID-19 transmission, the University of Iowa suspended all in-person fall injury prevention programs in March 2020. However, falls continued to be the leading cause of injury-related mortality in Iowa; therefore, the university converted its in-person Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention (TCAFP) program to a virtual program. Here, the authors describe the virtual TCAFP program and participants' overall experience. Among 83 older adults who participated in the first three virtual programs, 61 (73.5%) completed the programs. Of the 31 (37.3%) participants who filled out the postprogram satisfaction surveys, 30 (96.8%) found the Zoom platform easy to use and said the program met their expectations, 28 (90.3%) were happy with the quality of the instruction, and 29 (93.5%) said they learned the tai chi forms taught during the program and used an online video to practice between classes. Judging by the largely positive participant feedback, the authors considered the implementation of a virtual TCAFP program a success. The potential for the use of such a program beyond the pandemic to improve injury prevention efforts in rural environments warrants further exploration.