Exploratory outcome assessment of Qigong/Tai Chi Easy on breast cancer survivors.

Author: Larkey LK1, Roe DJ2, Smith L3, Millstine D4
1Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States. Electronic address: Linda.larkey@asu.edu.
2Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, 1515 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724-5024, United States.
3Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix AZ 85004, United States.
4Women's Health Internal Medicine and Integrative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 13737 N. 92nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, United States.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Med.
Date published: 2016 Dec
Other: Volume ID: 29 , Pages: 196-203 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 13. , Word Count: 279

OBJECTIVE: Breast cancer survivors (BCSs) experience symptoms affecting overall quality of life (QOL), often for a prolonged period post-treatment. Meditative Movement (MM), including Qigong and Tai Chi Easy (QG/TCE), has demonstrated benefit for improving QOL issues such as fatigue and sleep, but there is limited evidence of its impact on cognitive function, overall physical activity, and body weight for BCSs.

DESIGN: This double-blind, randomized controlled pilot study with 87 female BCSs explored effects of QG/TCE on mental and physical QOL (Medical Outcomes Survey, Short Form), cognitive function (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function and two cognitive performance tests from the WAIS III), overall levels of physical activity (PA)(Brief Physical Activity Questionnaire) and body mass index (BMI).

INTERVENTIONS: Twelve weekly sessions of QG/TCE were compared to sham Qigong (SQG), a gentle movement control intervention similar to QG/TCE but without the focus on breathing and meditative state.

RESULTS: Both groups demonstrated pre-to-post-intervention improvements in physical and mental health, level of PA, self-reported cognitive function, and cognitive performance tests, though without significant differences between QG/TCE and SQG. For a subset of women enrolled later in the study, a significant reduction in BMI [-0.66 (p=0.048)] was found for QG/TCE compared to SQG.

CONCLUSIONS: Practices that include gentle movement (such as QG/TCE or our sham protocol) among women with a history of breast cancer may improve many facets of the cancer experience, including QOL, cognitive function, and PA patterns. Practicing QG/TCE may show some advantage for BMI reduction compared to non-meditative gentle exercise.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Body mass index; Breast cancer; Cancer survivorship; Integrative oncology; Meditative movement; Qigong

PMID: 27912947 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.10.006