Qigong mind-body program for caregivers of cancer patients: design of a pilot three-arm randomized clinical trial

Author: Pinky Shani1, Kristin Raeesi2, Eli Walter3, Kai Lewis4, Wanyi Wang2, Lorenzo Cohen5, Gloria Y Yeh6,7, Cecile A Lengacher8, Peter M Wayne7
1 University of Houston, College of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA. pshani@uh.edu.
2 Texas Woman's University, College of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA.
3 University of Houston, College of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA.
4 Houston Martial Arts Academy, Houston, TX, USA.
5 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
6 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
7 Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
8 University of South Florida, College of Nursing, Tampa, FL, USA.
Conference/Journal: Pilot Feasibility Stud
Date published: 2021 Mar 19
Other: Volume ID: 7 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 73 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s40814-021-00793-4. , Word Count: 261

Informal caregivers, often family and friends, experience significant psychological and physical distress leading to reductions in health and quality of life (QOL). Mind-body interventions focused on caregivers are often limited and do not address multiple barriers, including caregivers' economic, geographic, and time constraints. Translation of in-person, community-based interventions to Internet-based delivery may offer greater accessibility for caregivers, leading to increased adherence.

Caring for Caregivers with Mind-Body implements a three-arm, pilot, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility of delivering a Qigong intervention (Eight Brocades) to cancer caregivers. A total of 54 cancer caregivers will be randomized into one of three 12-week programs: (1) community-based Qigong, (2) Internet-based Qigong, or (3) a self-care control group. Study-specific aims include (1) modify intervention content for online delivery, (2) evaluate the feasibility of recruiting and retaining cancer caregivers into a 12-week clinical trial, and (3) evaluate the feasibility of collecting and managing data, and the suitability of questionnaires for this population. Several outcomes will be assessed, including caregiver QOL, caregiver burden, caregiver distress, perceived social support, physical function, and cognitive function. A 6-month follow-up will also assess longer-term changes in QOL and psychosocial well-being.

Findings will be used to inform the design and conduct of a large-scale comparative effectiveness trial evaluating caregivers who received Qigong training delivered through community-based vs Internet-based programs. A finding that either or both programs are effective would inform care and options for caregivers.

Trial registration:
NCT04019301 ; registered on July 15, 2019; clinicaltrials.gov.

Keywords: Cancer caregivers; Distress; Internet; Qigong; Quality of life; Randomized control trial; Study protocol; feasibility.

PMID: 33741070 PMCID: PMC7976717 DOI: 10.1186/s40814-021-00793-4