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Comparing Tai Chi Chih and Relaxation Therapy in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: November 15, 2004
Last updated: March 21, 2013
Last verified: March 2013
The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of relaxation therapy and tai chi in treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Condition Intervention Phase
Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Behavioral: Tai Chi Chih
Behavioral: Relaxation training
Phase 2
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of CAM Interventions in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • RA-related disability
  • Health functioning

Estimated Enrollment: 100
Study Start Date: November 2004
Study Completion Date: August 2007
Primary Completion Date: August 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

RA is a debilitating disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, and disability. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments are being used with increased frequency by patients with chronic pain and rheumatic diseases to relieve their symptoms. While patients find these treatments helpful, there is limited scientific evidence of the effectiveness of these interventions. This study will compare relaxation therapy (a commonly used treatment for RA) to tai chi chih (a combination of slow, deliberate movements and meditation) in treating the symptoms of RA.

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks of either relaxation therapy or tai chi chih. At study entry and Weeks 6 and 12, participants will complete questionnaires about their RA symptoms, health functioning, overall quality of life, and complete a brief medical exam.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Active adult onset rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stable on disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic medications
  • Able to walk without use of an assistive device
  • Resides in greater Los Angeles area
  • Willing and able to comply with study requirements

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Uncontrolled or untreated medical conditions
  • Frequent or uncontrolled disease flares
  • Use of certain medications any medical condition deemed by the investigators to interfere with either the patient's safe participation or interpretation of the study data
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00096759

United States, California
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90048
University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Pike, PhD University of California, Los Angeles
  More Information

Responsible Party: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier: NCT00096759     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT002307-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: November 15, 2004
Last Updated: March 21, 2013

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Tai Chi
Relaxation Techniques

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Joint Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017