Effects of Tai Chi mind-body movement therapy on functional status and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure: A randomized controlled trial

Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
The American Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 5). 10/2004; 117(8):541-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2004.04.016
Source: PubMed


To examine the effects of a 12-week tai chi program on quality of life and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure.
Thirty patients with chronic stable heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction < or =40% (mean [+/- SD] age, 64 +/- 13 years; mean baseline ejection fraction, 23% +/- 7%; median New York Heart Association class, 2 [range, 1 to 4]) were randomly assigned to receive usual care (n = 15), which included pharmacologic therapy and dietary and exercise counseling, or 12 weeks of tai chi training (n = 15) in addition to usual care. Tai chi training consisted of a 1-hour class held twice weekly. Primary outcomes included quality of life and exercise capacity. Secondary outcomes included serum B-type natriuretic peptide and plasma catecholamine levels. For 3 control patients with missing data items at 12 weeks, previous values were carried forward.
At 12 weeks, patients in the tai chi group showed improved quality-of-life scores (mean between-group difference in change, -25 points, P = 0.001), increased distance walked in 6 minutes (135 meters, P = 0.001), and decreased serum B-type natriuretic peptide levels (-138 pg/mL, P = 0.03) compared with patients in the control group. A trend towards improvement was seen in peak oxygen uptake. No differences were detected in catecholamine levels.
Tai chi may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment that enhances quality of life and functional capacity in patients with chronic heart failure who are already receiving standard medical therapy.

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    • "Meanwhile, Yeh et al. (2004)[36] in a study on the effect of tai chi on patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), obtained a significant difference in QOL. Chan et al. (2004)[37] studying the effect of tai chi sport program on COPD patients showed that there was a significant difference in the study group (pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing technique breathing sports) compared to control in the domains of symptoms signs and QOL activity, but there was no significant difference in the domains of the effects of disease and total score of QOL. "
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