Advancing the Science of Mind-Body Interventions: a Comment on Larkey et al.

Author: Porter LS.
Duke University Medical Center, Box 90399, Durham, NC, 27708, USA,
Conference/Journal: Ann Behav Med.
Date published: 2014 Sep 17
Other: Word Count: 147

The past decade has seen burgeoning interest among researchers, clinicians, and the public in the potential benefits of mind-body interventions such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, and mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with cancer and other medical conditions. An informal literature search reveals hundreds of studies conducted in the past 5–10 years, most of which suggest that mind-body interventions lead to improvements in physical and/or psychological functioning (see, for example, [1–7]). The study by Larkey and colleagues [8] adds to this literature by comparing the effects of a simplified version of tai chi called Qigong/Tai Chi Easy (QG/TCE) to a “placebo” control condition, sham Qigong.
The use of the sham Qigong control condition is a noteworthy feature of this study, as most previous studies have used standard care control groups. Selecting an appropriate control condition for studies testing mind-body interventions is complex given their multicomponent nature.

PMID: 25228455