A Content Analysis of African Americans' Experience of Engaging in <i>Qigong</i> Exercise Intervention in a Community Setting

Author: Pei-Shiun Chang1, Andrea Cohee2, Christina Poe1, Junhyoung Kim3, Abby Yergler4, Yvonne Lu5
1 Department of Community and Health Policy, School of Nursing, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA.
2 Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis, IN, USA.
3 Department of Health & Wellness Design, School of Public Health, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA.
4 Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
5 Department of Nursing Science, School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Integr Complement Med
Date published: 2023 Aug 16
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1089/jicm.2023.0130. , Word Count: 266

Introduction: Although an increasing number of African Americans 50 years of age and older practice qigong, a mind-body exercise, to manage their health conditions, little is known about their perceptions and experiences of engaging in and learning qigong exercise. This study aimed to explore the subjective perceptions of the health benefits, engagement, adherence, and learning of qigong exercise in African Americans 45-85 years of age as a foundation for promoting this approach for African Americans' physical and psychological health. Methods: Fifteen African Americans were enrolled in a 1-h qigong exercise program twice a week for 8 weeks (a total of 16 sessions) in the activity center of a local church. Participants were interviewed after the intervention to explore their perceptions of learning and practicing qigong exercise. Interviews were conducted in person, audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using content analysis. Results: Five themes emerged: (1) Perceived benefits of practicing qigong, (2) helpful strategies for qigong learning, (3) facilitators for home qigong practice, (4) motivators for qigong exercise adherence, and (5) recommending qigong to others. qigong exercise was perceived to be effective for balance, flexibility, muscle strength, sleep quality, emotion regulation, and stress management. Nearly 75% of participants reported home qigong practice at least twice a week. Conclusions: Middle-age and older African Americans' responses provide insights on health benefits associated with practicing qigong exercise, adherence, home practice, and learning, which may serve as the first step to promoting the use of qigong exercise in this population and may be adopted to similar exercise interventions with minority older adults in the future.

Keywords: Baduanjin; emotional benefits; exercise adherence; mind–body exercise; minority; qigong learning.

PMID: 37585619 DOI: 10.1089/jicm.2023.0130