Effects of Tai Chi App and Facebook health education programs on breast cancer survivors' stress and quality of life in the Era of pandemic

Author: Zan Gao1, Suryeon Ryu2, Yingying Chen3
1 University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Electronic address: gaoz@umn.edu.
2 University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
3 Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Clin Pract
Date published: 2022 Jun 16
Other: Volume ID: 48 , Pages: 101621 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101621. , Word Count: 275

This study investigated the effects of a mobile Tai Chi app and Facebook (FB) program on stress and quality of life (QoL) among breast cancer survivors (BCS).

This study was a remote, 12-week 2-arm parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT). BCS were randomly assigned into either the Tai Chi intervention condition (using an app to practice Tai Chi three times a day, at least five days/week and receiving FB health tips) or the comparison condition (receiving FB health tips only). The final sample comprised 35 female BCS (Mage = 56.17). The Perceived Stress Scale was utilized to measure stress and the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System was adopted to assess QoL - mental health (anxiety and depression) and physical health.

No significant time × group interaction effects emerged for stress and mental health (Wilk's lambda = 0.96, F (2, 32) = 0.74, p = 0.48, η2 = 0.04) and physical health (Wilk's lambda = 1.00, F (1,33) = 0.14, p = 0.71, η2 = 0.00). Yet, a significant time effect was observed for mental health, F (1,33) = 5.51, p = 0.02, η2 = 0.14; and physical health, F (1,33) = 5.59, p < 0.05, η2 = 0.14; but not for stress, F (1,33) = 1.70, p = 0.20, η2 = 0.05. Specifically, participants' physical health (1.57 vs. 1.41) and mental health (1.80 vs. 1.62) significantly improved over time across both groups. Also, a group effect for mental health approached the significant level, F (1,33) = 4.06, p = 0.05, η2 = 0.11. In detail, the Tai Chi participants had significantly better mental health at follow-up test (1.43 vs. 1.90) compared to the comparison participants (p < 0.05, 95%CI: 0.91 to -0.40).

The study findings suggested that the implementation of the Tai Chi app combined FB health tips program had positive effects on BCS's mental health. Also, offering a health education program could be beneficial to BCS's physical health as well.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Mental health; Physical health; Social media.

PMID: 35738114 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101621