Qigong in Injured Military Service Members.

Author: Reb AM1,2, Saum NS3, Murphy DA4, Breckenridge-Sproat ST5, Su X6, Bormann JE7,8
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup>Henry M. Jackson Foundation. <sup>2</sup>Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. <sup>3</sup>Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi. <sup>4</sup>Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions. <sup>5</sup>Regional Health Command Europe. <sup>6</sup>University of Texas at El Paso. <sup>7</sup>University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences/Beyster Institute of Nursing Research. <sup>8</sup>VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH).
Conference/Journal: J Holist Nurs.
Date published: 2017 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 35 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 10-24 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/0898010116638159. Epub 2016 Jun 23. , Word Count: 207

BACKGROUND: Wounded, ill, and injured (WII) Military Service members experience significant stress and are at risk for developing chronic conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Qigong, a meditative movement practice, may positively affect their ability to engage in successful rehabilitation.

PURPOSE: We assessed the feasibility of Qigong practice in WII Service members returning from combat; effects on stress, sleep, and somatic symptoms; satisfaction; and participants' experience with the practice.

DESIGN: Single-group, pre- and posttest, mixed methods approach.

METHOD: Twenty-six WII were enrolled. The program was designed to include 20 classes over 10 weeks. Participants completed self-report questionnaires, practice logs, and an exit interview.

FINDINGS: Average attendance was 8.14 classes ( SD = 4.9); mean engagement was 5.7 ( SD = 3.5) weeks. Participants endorsed a high level of satisfaction with the practice. Qualitative themes included coping with stress; feeling more resilient and empowered; improvement in symptoms including sleep and physical function; and factors affecting practice. Participant-reported facilitators included accessibility and portability of the practice; barriers included scheduling conflicts and personal challenges. Participants recommended offering shorter programs with flexible scheduling options, increasing program awareness, and including significant others in future classes.

CONCLUSION: Qigong was safe, portable, and easily adapted for WII Service members.

KEYWORDS: Qigong; complementary and integrative therapies; posttraumatic stress disorder; rehabilitation; sleep; stress

PMID: 27021358 DOI: 10.1177/0898010116638159