Psycho-physical and neurophysiological effects of qigong on depressed elders with chronic illness.
ABSTRACT This randomized controlled trial examined the psychological, physical, and neurophysiological effects of a qigong exercise program on depressed elders with chronic medical illness. The experimental group (n = 21, 80 ± 7 years) was given a 12-week qigong exercise program, while the comparison group (n = 17, 81 ± 8 years) participated in a newspaper reading program with the same duration and frequency. Measurement of depression symptoms, psychosocial functioning, muscle strengths, salivary cortisol, and serum serotonin was conducted. At 12 weeks, the qigong group had significant reduction in depressive symptoms (F = 11.68; p < 0.025). Improvement in self-efficacy (F = 4.30; p < 0.050), self-concept of physical well-being (F = 6.82; p < 0.025), and right-hand grip strength (F = 5.25; p = 0.034) was also found when compared with the comparison group. A change in salivary cortisol level was found marginally insignificant between groups (F = 3.16; p = 0.087). However, a decreasing trend of cortisol level was observed. The results provided preliminary evidence for the hypotheses that the antidepressive effect of qigong exercise could be explained by improvement in psychosocial functioning and possibly down-regulation of hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
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ABSTRACT: Background While physical exercise as adjunctive treatment for major depression has received considerable attention in recent years, the evidence is conflicting. This study evaluates the effects of two different add-on treatments: exercise and basic body awareness therapy. Methods Randomized controlled trial with two intervention groups and one control, including 62 adults on antidepressant medication, who fulfilled criteria for current major depression as determined by the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Interventions (10 weeks) were aerobic exercise or basic body awareness therapy (BBAT), compared to a single consultation with advice on physical activity. Primary outcome was depression severity, rated by a blinded assessor using the Montgomery Asberg Rating Scale (MADRS). Secondary outcomes were global function, cardiovascular fitness, self-rated depression, anxiety and body awareness. Results Improvements in MADRS score (mean change=−10.3, 95% CI (−13.5 to −7.1), p=0.038) and cardiovascular fitness (mean change=2.4 ml oxygen/kg/min, 95% CI (1.5 to 3.3), p=0.017) were observed in the exercise group. Per-protocol analysis confirmed the effects of exercise, and indicated that BBAT has an effect on self-rated depression. Limitations The small sample size and the challenge of missing data. Participants׳ positive expectations regarding the exercise intervention need to be considered. Conclusions Exercise in a physical therapy setting seems to have effect on depression severity and fitness, in major depression. Our findings suggest that physical therapy can be a viable clinical strategy to inspire and guide persons with major depression to exercise. More research is needed to clarify the effects of basic body awareness therapy.Journal of Affective Disorders 10/2014; 168:98–106. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.049 · 3.71 Impact Factor
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2014; 2014:706892. DOI:10.1155/2014/706892 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background We extend findings from previous quantitative reviews of the effects of Tai Chi and Qigong exercises on symptoms of depression and anxiety in randomized controlled trials by examining whether effects varied according to participant characteristics, exposure, or features of research design. Methods Thirty-five articles published before 1 April, 2013 involving 2,765 participants were selected according to PRISMA guidelines. Hedges d effect sizes were calculated and random effects models were used to estimate population variance of the observed effects and its moderators using meta-regression analysis. Results Tai Chi training reduced depression by a heterogeneous standardized mean effect size 0.36 (95% CI, 0.19 to 0.53); reductions were larger in participants having elevated symptoms at baseline. Studies with blinded allocation of participants had smaller effects. The homogeneous mean effect of Qigong on depression was 0.38 (95% CI = 0.25 to 0.51). The heterogeneous mean effect of Tai Chi on anxiety was 0.34 (95% CI = 0.02 to 0.66); reductions were larger when participants were Asian and smaller when they were older. The heterogeneous mean effect of Qigong on anxiety was 0.72 (95% CI = 0.4 to 1.03); reductions were inversely related to age and positively related to session duration and weekly frequency. Conclusion Tai Chi and Qigong exercises have small-to-moderate efficacy for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Higher-quality trials are needed that sample patients with elevated symptoms, use blinded allocation to conditions, and standardize Tai Chi and Qigong exposure in order to better determine clinical effectiveness and its modifiers.Mental Health and Physical Activity 09/2014; 7(3). DOI:10.1016/j.mhpa.2014.08.001