Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Undergoing Chemoradiotherapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author: Zhou W1, Wan YH1, Chen Q1, Qiu YR1, Luo XM2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup>Cancer center, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China. <sup>2</sup>Emergency department, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China. Electronic address: luoxiaomin04@163.com.
Conference/Journal: J Pain Symptom Manage.
Date published: 2017 Nov 6
Other: Pages: S0885-3924(17)30601-2 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.10.021. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 296

CONTEXT: Tai Chi exercise has been shown to improve cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and autonomic nervous system (ANS) balance in some cancer patients or survivors, however, such effects are yet to be verified in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the effects of Tai Chi exercise on CRF in NPC patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy and then to evaluate ANS information indicated by heart rate variability (HRV) parameters and their association with CRF.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi exercise was conducted from January 2014 to August 2015. Participants in the Tai Chi group practiced Tai Chi a one-hour session, 5 sessions/week during chemoradiotherapy. Participants in the control group received usual care. The primary endpoints were scores of the multidimensional fatigue symptom inventory-short form (MFSI-SF). Secondary endpoints were HRV parameters including normalized low-frequency power (nLF), normalized high-frequency power (nHF) and the nLF/nHF ratio, and their association with CRF.

RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen patients were recruited in this study and eighty three completed the trial. The Tai Chi group and the control group had comparable baseline characteristics. After chemoradiotherapy, the Tai Chi group exhibited lower MFSI-SF total score and three negative subscale (general, physical and emotional fatigue) scores and higher vigor score compared with the control group (P<0.01for all). The nLF/nHF ratio was significantly lower in the Tai Chi group compared to the control group after chemoradiotherapy. The MFSI-SF total score was markedly correlated with the nLF/nHF ratio.

CONCLUSION: Tai Chi exercise is conducive to alleviate CRF in NPC patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy. The improvement in ANS balance might fit into the process of Tai Chi for CRF management in this population.

Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

KEYWORDS: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Tai Chi; cancer-related fatigue; chemoradiotherapy; heart rate variability

PMID: 29122618 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.10.021