Baduanjin Qigong Improves Balance, Leg Strength, and Mobility in Individuals With Chronic Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Study

Author: Mandy Yuen1,2, H X Ouyang2, Tiev Miller2, Marco Y C Pang2
1 Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
2 Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
Conference/Journal: Neurorehabil Neural Repair
Date published: 2021 Apr 7
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/15459683211005020. , Word Count: 237

Effective and sustainable exercise training methods for improving balance poststroke are needed.

To evaluate the effect of Baduanjin Qigong for improving balance after stroke.

This was a single-blinded randomized controlled study in which only the assessor was blinded. Fifty-eight people with chronic stroke (mean age: 62.5 ± 11.8 years) were randomly assigned to the experimental (n = 29) or control group (n = 29). The experimental group underwent 8 weeks of supervised Baduanjin training (3 sessions per week). This was followed by home-based practice of the same exercises 3 days a week for another 8 weeks. The control group underwent 2 sessions of supervised conventional fitness training in the first week, followed by home-based exercise practice 3 days a week until the end of week 16. All outcomes were measured at baseline, week 8, and week 16.

Significantly greater improvements in the Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest), composite equilibrium score (Sensory Organization Test), 5 Times Sit to Stand, and Timed Up and Go test were detected at week 8 in the experimental group than in the control group (P < .017). Further improvement in the Mini-BESTest was observed from week 8 to 16 in the experimental group (P < .001). Other outcomes (Limit of Stability, Fall-Efficacy Scale, Modified Barthel Index, Stroke-Specific Quality of Life) showed no significant results.

Baduanjin is effective in improving balance, leg strength, and mobility and is a safe and sustainable form of home-based exercise for people with chronic stroke.

Keywords: Baduanjin; Qigong; balance; randomized controlled trial; rehabilitation; stroke.

PMID: 33825587 DOI: 10.1177/15459683211005020