Effects of a nurse-led Tai Chi programme on improving quality of life, mental wellbeing, and physical function of women with breast cancer: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Author: Carol Chunfeng Wang1,2, Sadie Geraghty1, Caitlin Fox-Harding3,4, Calvin Wang5
1 Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery and Health Sciences, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Perth, WA, Australia.
2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia.
3 School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia.
4 Exercise Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia.
5 Qiology: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, Perth, WA, Australia.
Conference/Journal: Womens Health (Lond)
Date published: 2022 Jan-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Pages: 17455057221127813 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/17455057221127813. , Word Count: 302

Quality of life, mental wellbeing, and physical function deteriorate among women with breast cancer. Tai Chi is a moderate form of exercise that may be effective in improving the mental and physical wellbeing, therefore, the quality of life of women with breast cancer. This protocol paper outlines a trial to determine the therapeutic effects of a Tai Chi programme on breast cancer management.

The study will be an interventional, single-blind, double-armed, randomized, and controlled trial involving a 12-week Tai Chi programme for women with breast cancer. Forty participants aged 18 years and above who are diagnosed with breast cancer from the general community will be recruited. All participants will be randomized to either a Tai Chi programme or a waiting list control group. The Tai Chi programme will involve 12 weeks of group Tai Chi sessions, with 45 min per session, twice a week. The primary outcome will be potential improvements to the quality of life, and secondary outcomes will be potential improvements in mental wellbeing (anxiety and depression), and physical function (pain, flexibility, obesity, and vital signs). These outcomes will be assessed via self-administered online assessments and physical examinations pre-and post-intervention. Linear mixed modelling will be used to assess changes in outcomes.

Discussion and dissemination:
Tai Chi is a safe, easy to learn, inexpensive, and low-intensity exercise with increasing popularity worldwide. If the intervention improves the quality of life in women with breast cancer, this study will build research capacity and increase awareness of the potential for Tai Chi to empower patients and engage them in self-management of breast cancer symptoms. Research findings will be disseminated to the public, health professionals, researchers, and healthcare providers through conference presentations, lay summaries, and peer-reviewed publications.

Keywords: Qigong; chronic disease; clinical trial; community-based research; exercise; mental health; oncology; women’s health.

PMID: 36165224 PMCID: PMC9520183 DOI: 10.1177/17455057221127813