A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effect of Tai Chi on the Drug Craving in Women

Author: Mu Wang1,2, Yanyan Chen1, Yubing Xu1, Xiaoyu Zhang1,2, Ting Sun1, Huazhi Li3, Cunfeng Yuan4, Jin Li3, Zeng-Hui Ding1, Zuchang Ma1, Yining Sun1
1 Institute of Intelligent Machines, Hefei Institute of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubin Building, Science Island, Shushan, Hefei, 230031 Anhui People's Republic of China.
2 University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026 People's Republic of China.
3 Women Specific Drug Rehabilitation Center, Hefei, Anhui People's Republic of China.
4 Drug Rehabilitation Administration of the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Conference/Journal: Int J Ment Health Addict
Date published: 2022 Sep 13
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s11469-022-00917-8. , Word Count: 212

This study was conducted in the purpose of investigating the effect of Tai Chi on drug craving for women with drug disorders. One hundred and twelve women were recruited from a drug rehabilitation center in China, and 47 and 48 were finally analyzed in the control group and exercise group, respectively. The exercise group underwent a 3-month Tai Chi training, whereas the control group experienced no exercise intervention during the same time period. The drug craving was measured by the visual analog scale. In data analysis, repeated-measures were utilized to test the differences between the control and exercise group over the course of the experiment time. The mean of the craving score significantly dropped from pre-test (control: mean = 5.38, SD = 3.04; exercise: mean = 4.68, SD = 2.93) to post-test (control: mean = 4.03, SD = 2.73; exercise: mean = 1.91, SD = 1.90) in both groups (control group: t = 3.84, df = 46, p < 0.001; exercise group: t = 5.941, df = 47, p < 0.001), with more decrease witnessed in the exercise group. Repeated-measures analysis with a Huynh-Feldt correction showed the significant effect of time (F = 27.383, p < 0.001) as well as the study group by time interaction (F = 3.52, p = 0.024). Tai Chi can ameliorate the drug craving in women and it could be a supportive treatment for drug addiction.

Keywords: Addiction; Craving; Drug use; Exercise; Tai Chi.

PMID: 36119946 PMCID: PMC9469824 DOI: 10.1007/s11469-022-00917-8