Adapting Chinese Qigong Mind-Body Exercise for Healthy Aging in Older Community-Dwelling Low-income Latino Adults: Pilot Feasibility Study

Author: Zenong Yin1, Cristina E Martinez1, Shiyu Li2, Martha Martinez2, Kezhi Peng3, William M Land4, Sarah L Ullevig5, Adelita Cantu2, Sharon Falk2, Arthur E Hernández6, Catherine Ortega1, Deborah Parra-Medina7, Maureen J Simmonds1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Public Health, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States. <sup>2</sup> School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States. <sup>3</sup> College of Kinesiology and Health, Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang, China. <sup>4</sup> Department of Kinesiology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States. <sup>5</sup> College for Health, Community and Policy, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States. <sup>6</sup> Dreeben School of Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, United States. <sup>7</sup> Latino Research Institute, Latino Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States.
Conference/Journal: JMIR Aging
Date published: 2021 Nov 1
Other: Volume ID: 4 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: e29188 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2196/29188. , Word Count: 262

Research translating the evidence for the benefit of mind-body exercise in older Latinos with limited access to community-based healthy aging programs is sparse.

This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of Function Improvement Exercises for Older Sedentary Community-Dwelling Latino Residents (FITxOlder), a Community Health Worker (CHW)-led, mobile technology-facilitated Chinese Qigong mind-body exercise program for healthy aging and to explore its impact on physical and cognitive function and quality of life (QoL) in older community-dwelling low-income Latino adults.

This study was designed as a Stage 1 feasibility study to develop and pilot-test FITxOlder. In Phase 1 (Stage 1A), a working group of seniors, CHWs, and senior center staff guided the adaptation of Chinese Qigong into a healthy aging program. In Phase 2 (Stage 1B), 49 older Latino adults participated in a 3-arm controlled study to test the feasibility and preliminary effect of CHW-led FITxOlder on physical and cognitive function and QoL measures over 16 weeks.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of the study protocol, we found favorable results regarding participant recruitment, retention, and fidelity of implementation. Notable findings included an 89.3% participant retention, 79.4% of the participants completed at least 70% of the weekly exercise goal, and no report of adverse events. The effects on intervention outcome measures were modest.

FITxOlder is feasible for promoting healthy aging in older Latino adults; future research needs to compare its feasibility with other low-impact exercise programs for healthy aging using a randomized controlled trial.

Trial registration: NCT04284137;

Keywords: community-based participatory research; five animal play; mHealth; wuqinxi.

PMID: 34723824 DOI: 10.2196/29188