Effect of Tai Chi and Resistance Training on Cancer-Related Fatigue and Quality of Life in Middle-Aged and Elderly Cancer Patients

Author: Duan Cheng1, Xuan Wang1, Jie Hu1, Ling-Li Dai1, Ying Lv1, Hui Feng2, Yan Zhang3, Yan Guo4, Lei Wang5
1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, China.
2 Department of Rehabiliation Medicine, Nanjing Jiangning Hospital, Nanjing, 211101, China.
3 Department of Oncology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Nanjing, 210009, China.
4 Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100091, China. guoyan0314@126.com.
5 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, China. pitx3@163.com.
Conference/Journal: Chin J Integr Med
Date published: 2021 Jan 9
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s11655-021-3278-9. , Word Count: 334

To study the effect of Tai Chi (TC) and resistance training (RT) with different intensity on the cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and quality of life (QoL) of middle-aged and elderly cancer patients.

Totally 120 cancer patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to 4 groups by a random number table, including TC group, high-intensity 60% one repetition maximum (1-RM) RT group (HIRT), low-intensity (30% 1-RM) RT group (LIRT) and control group, 30 patients in each group. Participants in the TC group received 24-form simplified Yang-style TC training at a frequency of 40 min per day, 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Patients in the two RT groups received 10 sessions, 6 designated movements per day, 3 days per week for 12 weeks. The 1-RM of 6 muscle groups, fat mass (FM), lean body mass (LBM), along with the scores of Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), QoL questionnaire for Chinese cancer patients receiving chemobiotherapy (QLQ-CCC), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were measured before and after training. The adverse effect was also observed.

After 12-week intervention, patients in both TC and RT groups showed significant improvements in CRF and QLQ-CCC compared to pre-treatment (P<0.05). Compared with the LIRT and TC groups, patients in the HIRT group improved more significantly in increasing muscle strength and LBM, and reducing in FM (P<0.05). Patients in the TC group significantly increased in lower limb muscle strength compared with the LIRT group (P<0.05). In addition, patients in the TC group showed more significant improvements in scores of GAD-7, PHQ-9 and PSQI than 2 RT groups (P<0.05).

TC and RT, both low- and high-intensity training, can significantly increase muscle strength, reduce CRF and improve QoL in the middle-aged and elderly cancer patients. TC has a better effect than RT in terms of sleep quality and mental health. The long-term application is needed to substantiate the effect of TC as an alternative exercise in cancer patients.

Keywords: Tai chi; cancer-related fatigue; quality of life; resistance training.

PMID: 33420583 DOI: 10.1007/s11655-021-3278-9