Qigong in Injured Military Service Members.

Author: Reb AM1,2, Saum NS3, Murphy DA4, Breckenridge-Sproat ST5, Su X6, Bormann JE7,8
1Henry M. Jackson Foundation.
2Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
3Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi.
4Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions.
5Regional Health Command Europe.
6University of Texas at El Paso.
7University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences/Beyster Institute of Nursing Research.
8VA 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