Start With the Body or the Mind? Differential Benefits of Mindfulness and Qigong Practices for Colorectal Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Study

Author: Adrian H Y Wan1, Rainbow T H Ho, Joshua C Y Yau, Elzer F K Yau
1 Author Affiliations: Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong (Drs Ho and Wan and Mr Yau); Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong (Drs Ho and Wan); and Tai Chi Qi Yuan Well Being Club (Ms Yau), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China.
Conference/Journal: Cancer Nurs
Date published: 2023 Oct 6
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000001288. , Word Count: 237

Mindfulness and qigong are 2 distinct forms of mind-body practice that have been well-received by cancer survivors. Although there is evidence supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness or qigong in promoting wellness of cancer survivors, little is known about the differential benefits of these common forms of mind-body practices among survivors.

To compare the potential biopsychosocial-spiritual impacts of mindfulness and Baduanjin (BDJ) qigong on colorectal cancer survivors.

Sixty cancer survivors who participated in a mindfulness intervention (n = 38) and BDJ qigong (n = 22) intervention were invited to provide qualitative feedback for their experiences. Content analyses were conducted to identify emerging themes from the data, and χ2 tests were conducted to compare the responses of the mindfulness and BDJ groups in the major categories.

Both practices positively influenced psychosocial wellness. The practice of BDJ qigong led to more prominent improvements in physical well-being, whereas mindfulness worked best in enhancing spiritual growth and intrapersonal connectedness.

Survivors of colorectal cancer who are looking for ways to enhance their vitality and rejuvenate their physical body may find the practice of BDJ helpful, whereas survivors who are looking for spiritual comfort or growth may consider practicing mindfulness as an entry point toward mind-body unity.

Implications for practice:
Mindfulness and BDJ may be helpful for survivors of colorectal cancer to improve their holistic wellness. Oncology nurses can consider prescription of mindfulness and/or BDJ for patients recovering from colorectal cancer.

PMID: 37801588 DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000001288