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Abstract

Introduction Qi, known as meridian energy, runs throughout the human body via meridian vessels. This study compared symptom severity, interference, and meridian energy among breast carcinoma patients who had training in meditative qigong with those who did not. Methods A quasi-experimental study was conducted with 57 patients receiving routine care and 33 receiving qigong training. Data was collected before the start of treatment and at 4 and 12 weeks after the start of treatment. Symptom severity, interference, and meridian energy were assessed. The generalized linear mixed model was used to analyze the independent effect of meditative qigong after adjusting for potential confounders. Results At 12 weeks, patients in the qigong group had lower symptom severity and interference scores than those in the control group (symptom severity: β = −1.13, p < 0.01; symptom interference: β = −1.10, p = 0.02). Whether or not the participants were in the qigong group, there were no significant differences in the meridian energy over time. Higher meridian energy was related to lower symptom severity and interference (symptom severity: β = −0.01, p = 0.01; symptom interference: β = −0.01, p = 0.01). Conclusions The indications from this study show that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may benefit from learning qigong before treatment.

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Background: The purpose of this study is to verify the improvement of remote qigong intervention on the quality of life and physical fitness of breast cancer patients after surgery by means of a randomized controlled trial, and to compare it with the conventional exercise combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training. Methods/design: The research approach applied in this study is a randomized controlled trial. After completing the baseline questionnaire and physical fitness test, participants were randomly assigned to either the qigong group or the combined exercise rehabilitation group. Patients in the qigong group performed Qigong-Baduanjin twice a week for 30 minutes each time under remote guidance and practiced Baduanjin by themselves at other times. Patients in the combined exercise rehabilitation group were given resistance training twice a week for 30 minutes under remote guidance, and walking the rest of the time. At the end of the 12-week intervention, outcomes testing and data collection were carried out. The primary outcomes are quality of life, measured using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FATC-B). The secondary outcomes include cardiopulmonary endurance, upper limb strength, lower limb strength and skinfold thickness. Discussion: The importance of postoperative exercise rehabilitation for breast cancer has been gradually accepted by more and more doctors and patients, but further research and development of simple and practical means of exercise rehabilitation are necessary. Remote qigong intervention for breast cancer patients via the Internet will be a great alternative.
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Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer amongst women but it has the highest survival rates amongst all cancer. Rehabilitation therapy of post-treatment effects from cancer and its treatment is needed to improve functioning and quality of life. This review investigated the range of methods for improving physical, psychosocial, occupational, and social wellbeing in women with breast cancer after receiving breast cancer surgery. A search for articles published in English between the years 2009 and 2014 was carried out using The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, PubMed, and ScienceDirect. Search terms included: 'breast cancer', 'breast carcinoma', 'surgery', 'mastectomy', 'lumpectomy', 'breast conservation', 'axillary lymph node dissection', 'rehabilitation', 'therapy', 'physiotherapy', 'occupational therapy', 'psychological', 'psychosocial', 'psychotherapy', 'exercise', 'physical activity', 'cognitive', 'occupational', 'alternative', 'complementary', and 'systematic review'. Systematic reviews on the effectiveness of rehabilitation methods in improving post-operative physical, and psychological outcomes for breast cancer were selected. Sixteen articles met all the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Included review year, study aim, total number of participants included, and results. Evidence for exercise rehabilitation is predominantly in the improvement of shoulder mobility and limb strength. Inconclusive results exist for a range of rehabilitation methods (physical, psycho-education, nutritional, alternative-complementary methods) for addressing the domains of psychosocial, cognitive, and occupational outcomes. There is good evidence for narrowly-focused exercise rehabilitation in improving physical outcome particularly for shoulder mobility and lymphedema. There were inconclusive results for methods to improve psychosocial, cognitive, and occupational outcomes. There were no reviews on broader performance areas and lifestyle factors to enable effective living after treatment. The review suggests that comprehensiveness and effectiveness of post-operative breast cancer rehabilitation should consider patients' self-management approaches towards lifestyle redesign, and incorporate health promotion aspects, in light of the fact that breast cancer is now taking the form of a chronic illness with longer survivorship years.
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Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. The latest world cancer statistics calculated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that 1,677,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and 577,000 died. The TNM classification of malignant tumor (TNM) is the most commonly used staging system for breast cancer. Breast cancer is a group of very heterogeneous diseases. The molecular subtype of breast cancer carries important predictive and prognostic values, and thus has been incorporated in the basic initial process of breast cancer assessment/diagnosis. Molecular subtypes of breast cancers are divided into human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2 +), hormone receptor positive (estrogen or progesterone +), both positive, and triple negative breast cancer. By virtue of early detection via mammogram, the majority of breast cancers in developed parts of world are diagnosed in the early stage of the disease. Early stage breast cancers can be completely resected by surgery. Over time however, the disease may come back even after complete resection, which has prompted the development of an adjuvant therapy. Surgery followed by adjuvant treatment has been the gold standard for breast cancer treatment for a long time. More recently, neoadjuvant treatment has been recognized as an important strategy in biomarker and target evaluation. It is clinically indicated for patients with large tumor size, high nodal involvement, an inflammatory component, or for those wish to preserve remnant breast tissue. Here we review the most up to date conventional and developing treatments for different subtypes of early stage breast cancer.
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Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and affective responses were assessed during Tai Chi Chuan. A total of 16 women (M age = 61.2 yr., SD = 8.8) participated in this study. Individuals practiced Tai Chi Chuan three times/week during seven weeks, and were assessed session-by-session (21 Wu Tai Chi Chuan sessions) in three moments (15, 30, and 45 min.) using Borg's scale (CR 0-10) and the Feeling Scale (+5/-5). With regard to RPE, there was a difference between 15 and 30 min. and between 15 and 45 min. The same pattern of differences was observed for the affective response. The RPE during the seven weeks ranged from "fairly light" to "moderate" and the affective response from "good" to "very good." Thus, Tai Chi Chuan was perceived as a low-moderate intensity and pleasurable (positive affect) exercise by middle-aged and elderly women.
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Background: It is controversial whether Tai Chi (TC) benefits breast cancer survivors (BCS) on quality of life (QoL). We therefore undertook a meta-analysis to assess this question. Materials and methods: A computerized search through electronic databases was performed to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The primary outcome was QoL, while secondary outcomes included body mass index (BMI), bone mineral density (BMD), and muscle strength. Results: Five RCTs involving 407 patients were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled standardized mean differences were 0.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.35-0.54) for physical well- being, 0.03 (95%CI: -0.18-0.25) for social/family well-being, 0.24 (95%CI: 0.02-0.45) for emotional well-being, 0.23 (95%CI: -0.03-0.49) for functional well-being, and 0.09 (95%CI: -0.19-0.36) for additional concerns. TC failed to improve BMI, BMD, and muscle strength. Conclusions: There is currently lack of sufficient evidence to support TC improving QoL and other important clinical endpoints.
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Postoperative radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy,both reduces the risk of local recurrence and extends overall survival in patients with breast cancer (BC). Concerns have, however, been raised about the risk of acute and chronic side effects in breast cancer survivors as the number of treated individuals is large and their expected survival is long compared to most patients with other malignant diseases. Cardiac toxicity, reproductive dysfunction, pneumonitis (RP),arm lymph edema, neuropathy, skin changes are examples of the wide range of complications that has been associated with adjuvant treatment.
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Currently there are more than 13.7 million cancer survivors living in the U.S., and that figure is projected to increase by 31% in the next decade, adding another 4 million cancer survivors into the healthcare system. Cancer is largely a disease of aging, and the aging of the population will sharply raise the proportion of older cancer survivors, many of whom will be long-term survivors (5 + years post diagnosis). This review will address the potential utility of exercise to address three health problems that are of particular concern for the aging cancer survivor and the healthcare system, i.e., disability, falls, and cardiovascular disease, because the development of these age-related problems may be accelerated by cancer treatment. While there are many different modes of exercise that each produce specific adaptations, Tai Ji Quan may be a particularly suitable strategy to mitigate the development of age- and cancer-treatment-related problems. Based on studies in older adults without cancer, Tai Ji Quan produces musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic adaptations and is more easily performed by older adults due to its low energy cost and slower movement patterns. Since cancer survivors are mostly older, inactive, and often physically limited by the lingering side effects of treatment, they need to engage in safe, practical, and effective modes of exercise. The dearth of published controlled trials examining the efficacy of Tai Ji Quan to mitigate cancer-treatment-related musculoskeletal and cardiovascular side effects points to ample research opportunities to explore the application of this non-Western exercise modality to improve long-term outcomes for aging cancer survivors.
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Hypothesis: Qigong exercise is a popular method for relieving the side effects of conventional cancer treatments in survivors of breast cancer, yet its effects are not empirically assessed. This study aimed to investigate the effects of qigong exercise on upper limb lymphedema, arterial resistance, and blood flow velocity in survivors with breast cancer and mastectomy. Study design: This study was conducted as a prospective clinical trial. Methods: Eleven survivors of breast cancer with qigong experience (mean age = 58.3 ± 10.1 years) were assigned to the experimental group and 12 survivors of breast cancer without qigong experience (mean age = 53.8 ± 4.2 years) were assigned to the control group. They all had breast cancer-related lymphedema. All procedures were completed within one session. After baseline measurements were taken, the experimental group performed 18 Forms Tai Chi Internal Qigong for approximately 6 minutes while the control group rested for similar duration in a sitting position. Both groups were then reassessed. All participants were measured on their affected upper limb circumference (by using tape measures), peripheral arterial resistance, and blood flow velocities (using a Doppler ultrasound machine). Results: The between-group differences were not significant for all outcome measures at baseline (P > .05). The circumferences of the affected upper arm, elbow, forearm and wrist decreased after qigong exercise (P < .05). However, no significant difference was found in the circumference measures between the 2 groups posttest (P > .0125). In terms of vascular outcomes, the resistance index decreased and the maximum systolic arterial blood flow velocity (SV) and minimum diastolic arterial blood flow velocity (DV) increased significantly after qigong exercise (P < .05). The between-group difference was close to significant for SV (P = .018) and was significant for DV (P < .001) posttest. Conclusion: Qigong exercise could reduce conventional cancer therapy side effects such as upper limb lymphedema and poor circulatory status in survivors of breast cancer. However, such effects may be temporary, and further studies must be conducted to explore longer term effects.
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Introduction: Breast cancer survivors experience diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We report on the influence of tai chi chuan exercise (TCC) on HRQOL and explore associations between changes in HRQOL and biomarkers. Methods: Breast cancer survivors (N = 21) were randomly assigned to TCC or standard support therapy (SST) for 12 weeks (three times/week; 60 min/session). Interleukin-6, interleukin-8 (IL-8), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IBFBP)-1, IGFBP-3, glucose, insulin, and cortisol were measured pre- and postintervention. Overall HRQOL and subdomains were assessed at preintervention (T1), midintervention (T2) and postintervention (T3) and biomarkers at T1 and T3. Results: The TCC group improved in total HRQOL (T1-T2:CS = 8.54, P = 0.045), physical functioning (T1-T2:CS = 1.89, P = 0.030), physical role limitations (T1-T2 CS = 1.55, P = 0.023), social functioning (T1-T3:CS = 1.50, P = 0.020), and general mental health (T1-T2:CS = 2.67, P = 0.014; T1-T3:CS = 2.44, P = 0.019). The SST improved in social functioning (T1-T2:CS = 0.64, P = 0.043) and vitality (T1-T2:CS = 0.90, P = 0.01). There were relationships between changes in IGF-1 and overall HRQOL (r = -0.56; P < 0.05), physical role limitation (r = -0.68; P < 0.05), and social functioning (r = -0.56; P < 0.05). IGFBP-1 changes were associated with physical role limitations changes (r = 0.60; P < 0.05). IGFBP-3 changes were associated with physical functioning changes (r = 0.46; P ≤ 0.05). Cortisol changes were associated with changes in physical role limitations (r = 0.74; P < 0.05) and health perceptions (r = 0.46; P < 0.05). Glucose changes were associated with emotional role limitation changes (r = -0.70; P < 0.001). IL-8 changes were associated with emotional role limitation changes (r = 0.59; P < 0.05). Discussion/conclusions: TCC may improve HRQOL by regulating inflammatory responses and other biomarkers associated with side effects from cancer and its treatments. Implications for cancer survivors: TCC may be an intervention capable of improving HRQOL in breast cancer survivors.
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Chinese medicine practitioners apply the differentiation reasoning for decision-making. The wide scope of Chinese medicine intervention provides coverage of methods and techniques with applications to primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention. The rapid evolution of mathematical and computational techniques allowed the implementation of several models for pattern differentiation that were tested for several physiologic systems. Concurrently, it is argued that pattern differentiation might improve the efficacy of either traditional or conventional medical interventions. This article reviewed the influence of pattern differentiation into clinical practice organized by medical field: general pattern differentiation; genitourinary (recurrent cystitis); cardiovascular (coronary heart disease; arterial hypertension; angina pectoris); neurology (stroke); surgery; metabolic (diabetes mellitus); hepatic (cirrhosis); gastrointestinal (chronic superficial gastritis); orthopedic (low back pain; rheumatoid arthritis; cervical spondylosis; elbow arthritis); oncology (gastric mucosal dysplasia; lung cancer); gynecologic and obstetric manifestations (nausea and vomiting). The reviewed studies presented achievements that have contributed to the integration of Chinese medicine and evidence-based medicine in the treatment of many mild and severe diseases. Target diseases considered as major public health problems were also investigated and the results are promising regarding the possibility to treat guided by pattern differentiation.
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According to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), energy runs through 12 meridians longitudinally up and down the body. The study objectives were to compare the meridian energy between subjects with and without abnormal gastroscopy findings. We applied a cross-sectional and correlational research design. The study included 1,223 participants who had their health examinations at a university hospital in Taipei from 1st August 2005 through 31st August 2007. Meridian energy was examined using a meridian energy analysis device. The gastroscopy was operated by certified gastroenterologists. Participants with abnormal stomach and esophageal findings using gastroscopy had significantly lower mean meridian energy. There were no significant differences in meridian energy between participants with and without abnormal duodenum findings. When all of the meridians were examined individually, participants with abnormal findings in esophagus and stomach had significantly lower meridian energy in each of the meridians. The results of this study demonstrated that structural abnormality in the gastric area was related to lower meridian energy. Whether enhancing meridian energy could improve gastric and esophageal health merits further studies.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of Chan-Chuang qigong on symptoms distress and psychological distress of breast cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy. A quasi-experimental design was adopted. Subjects were recruited from breast cancer outpatients receiving chemotherapy at an 1800-bed medical center in Taipei, Taiwan. Of these subjects, 35 were assigned to the control group and 32 to the experimental group in which Chan-Chuang qigong was administered. Assignment was not random. The instruments included a 21-item symptom distress scale and psychological distress with the symptom checklist-90-revised. Data of the symptoms and psychological distress were collected on the day before chemotherapy as baseline values, and also collected on days 8, 15 and 22 of chemotherapy. The results showed that the overall severity of symptom distress in the experimental group was significantly lower than the control group on day 22 (p < 0.05). The symptoms with significant improvement included pain, numbness, heartburn and dizziness (p < 0.05). With regard to psychological distress, the difference of overall severity between the two groups was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). However, the items of "unwillingness to live" (p < 0.05) and "hopelessness about the future" (p < 0.05) were significantly improved in the experimental group. In conclusion, Chan-Chuang qigong had the effect of attenuating the symptom distress and probably some part of the psychological distress of chemotherapy patients.
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Few studies have examined the correlates of breast cancer-related symptoms that persist posttreatment and determined the relationship between symptoms and quality of life (QOL). A population-based sample of women in the United States with stage 0-II breast cancer (n = 1372) completed a survey including the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire. Described are the presence and frequency of 13 symptom scales and their associations with 10 QOL dimensions. All study participants had completed primary treatment (surgery and radiation and/or chemotherapy, if applicable). Mean time from initial surgical treatment to completion of the questionnaire was 7.2 months (range 0.5-14.9 months). Mean number of symptoms reported was 6.8, with the 5 most common symptom scales being systemic therapy side effects (87.7%), fatigue (81.7%), breast symptoms (72.1%), sleep disturbance (57.1%), and arm symptoms (55.6%). Younger age and poorer health status at diagnosis were associated with worse symptoms. Fatigue had the greatest impact on QOL, with significant differences between those with high and low fatigue across 7 QOL dimensions. Sociodemographic, prior health status, clinical, and treatment/diagnostic factors explained only 9%-27% of the variance in QOL outcomes. Adding symptom experience increased the variance explained to 18%-60%. More attention to the reduction and management of disease and treatment-related symptoms could improve QOL among women with breast cancer.
Article
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Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Mind-body interventions are widely used by cancer patients to reduce symptoms and cope better with disease- and treatment-related symptoms. In the last decade, many clinical controlled trials of qigong/tai chi as a cancer treatment have emerged. This study aimed to quantitatively evaluate the effects of qigong/tai chi on the health-related outcomes of cancer patients. Five databases (Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and the CAJ Full-text Database) were searched until June 30, 2013. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of qigong/tai chi as a treatment intervention for cancer patients were considered for inclusion. The primary outcome for this review was changes in quality of life (QOL) and other physical and psychological effects in cancer patients. The secondary outcome for this review was adverse events of the qigong/tai chi intervention. A total of 13 RCTs with 592 subjects were included in this review. Nine RCTs involving 499 subjects provided enough data to generate pooled estimates of effect size for health-related outcomes. For cancer-specific QOL, the pooled weighted mean difference (WMD) was 7.99 [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.07, 11.91; Z score=4.00, p<0.0001]. The standardized mean differences (SMDs) for changes in depression and anxiety score were -0.69 (95% CI: -1.51, 0.14; Z score=1.64, p=0.10), and -0.93 (95% CI: -1.80, -0.06; Z score=2.09, p=0.04), respectively. The WMDs for changes in body mass index and body composition from baseline to 12 weeks follow-up were -1.66 (95% CI: -3.51, 0.19; Z score=1.76, p=0.08), and -0.67 (95% CI: -2.43, 1.09; Z score=0.75, p=0.45) respectively. The SMD for changes in the cortisol level was -0.37 (95% CI: -0.74, -0.00; Z score=1.97, p=0.05). This study found that qigong/tai chi had positive effects on the cancer-specific QOL, fatigue, immune function and cortisol level of cancer patients. However, these findings need to be interpreted cautiously due to the limited number of studies identified and high risk of bias in included trials. Further rigorous trials are needed to explore possible therapeutic effects of qigong/tai chi on cancer patients.
Article
This study investigates the breathing frequency (BF)-independent effect of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on autonomic nervous modulation in TCC practitioners. Twenty-five TCC practitioners and 25 sedentary normal controls were recruited. The stationary heart rate variability (HRV) measures of TCC practitioners and controls were compared. The same HRV measures in TCC practitioners and among the controls, TCC practitioners before TCC and TCC practitioners 30 min after TCC were compared. In TCC practitioners, the BF, normalized high-frequency power (nHFP), and normalized very low-frequency power were significantly increased, while the normalized low-frequency power (nLFP) was significantly decreased 30 min after TCC. The BF correlated significantly and negatively with heart rate (HR), nHFP and nLFP, and correlated significantly and positively with mean RR interval (MnRR) before TCC in TCC practitioners. A slower BF is associated with a higher HR, a greater vagal modulation, and a greater combined sympatho-vagal modulation before TCC. To remove the effect of BF on HRV measures, new indices such as HR*BF, nHFP*BF, nLFP*BF, and MnRR/BF were introduced for comparison among the controls, TCC practitioners before TCC, and TCC practitioners 30 min after TCC. Thirty minutes after TCC, the MnRR/BF of TCC practitioner was smaller whereas HR*BF and nHFP*BF were greater than those before TCC. The BF-independent effects of TCC on the autonomic nervous modulation of TCC practitioners are an increase in vagal modulation and HR, and a decrease in mean RR interval. The mechanism underlying the parallel increase in HR and vagal modulation in TCC practitioners is not understood yet at present.
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Long-term care (LTC) facilities house individuals with diverse combinations of cognitive and physical impairments, and the practice of Seated Qigong eliminates common exercise barriers. This study hypothesized: 1) a single session would lower blood pressure (BP) and improve quality of life (QOL) in a generalized LTC population, and 2) these responses would be attenuated with chronic (weekly) Seated Qigong practice. Ten residents (6 female; 86 ± 7 years) participated in 1X/week Seated Qigong sessions for 10-weeks. BP and QOL were assessed pre- and post-session at baseline and following 5- and 10-weeks of Qigong. Systolic BP was significantly reduced immediately post-session after 10-weeks of Qigong (P = 0.03), yet unchanged at baseline and after 5-weeks (all P > 0.05). Diastolic BP and QOL remained unchanged (P > 0.05). A session of Seated Qigong elicits a hypotensive response with exposure, supporting the notion that repeated sessions may provide advantageous health benefits.
Article
Background: Radiotherapy may lead to side effects that undermine patients' quality of life (QOL). Although mind-body practices like qigong appear to improve QOL in cancer survivors, little is known about their benefits for patients who are receiving radiotherapy. Thus, in the current randomized controlled trial, the authors examined the efficacy of a qigong intervention on QOL in women with breast cancer during and after treatment. Methods: Ninety-six women with breast cancer were recruited from a cancer center in Shanghai, China, and were randomized to a qigong group (N = 49) or a waitlist control group (N = 47). Women in the qigong group attended 5 weekly classes over 5 or 6 weeks of radiotherapy. QOL outcomes (ie, depressive symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and overall QOL) and cortisol slopes were assessed at baseline, during treatment, at the end of treatment, 1 month later, and 3 months later. Results: The mean age of the women was 46 years (range, 25-64 years). Seven percent of women had stage 0 disease, 25% had stage I disease, 40% had stage II disease, and 28% had stage III disease. Fifty-four percent of women underwent mastectomy. Multilevel analyses revealed that women in the qigong group reported less depressive symptoms over time than women in the control group (P = .05). Women who had elevated depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy reported less fatigue (P < .01) and better overall QOL (P < .05) in the qigong group compared with the control group, and these findings were clinically significant. No significant differences were observed for sleep disturbance or cortisol slopes. Conclusions: The current results indicated that qigong may have therapeutic effects in the management of QOL among women who are receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer. Benefits were particularly evident for patients who had preintervention elevated levels of depressive symptoms.
Article
Fatigue is a commonly reported symptom by prostate cancer survivors and is associated with significant distress and declines in quality of life. Qigong is a mind-body activity that consists of both physical activity and meditative aspects. This 12-week randomized controlled trial examined the feasibility and efficacy of a Qigong intervention for improving older prostate cancer survivors' levels of fatigue and distress. Forty older (median age = 72, range = 58-93), fatigued (cut-off value of ≥1 on the CTCAEv4.0, >20 on a fatigue grading scale), and sedentary (<150 min of moderate exercise/week) prostate cancer survivors were randomized to 12 weeks of Qigong or stretching classes. Primary outcomes were feasibility (i.e., retention and class attendance rates) and fatigue [Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-Fatigue)], and secondary outcome was distress [Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18)]. Study retention rates did not significantly differ between study groups (Qigong = 80 %, stretching = 65 %, p = 0.48). The Qigong group had significantly higher class attendance than the stretching group (p = 0.04). The Qigong group had significantly greater improvements in the FACIT-Fatigue (p = 0.02) and distress (i.e., BSI-18 Somatization, Anxiety, & Global Severity Index, p's < 0.05), than the Stretching group. This 12-week Qigong intervention was feasible and potentially efficacious in improving senior prostate cancer survivors' levels of fatigue and distress levels. Future, larger definitive randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these benefits in older prostate cancer survivors and in racially and ethnically diverse populations. Qigong may be an effective nonpharmacological intervention for the management of senior prostate cancer survivors' fatigue and distress.
Article
Background: Studies have rarely compared health outcomes for patients with breast cancer at different treatment stages. Objective: The purpose of the study was to compare symptoms and quality of life among patients with breast carcinoma receiving target, chemotherapy, or combined therapy. Methods: A longitudinal study was carried out with 57 patients receiving chemotherapy, 30 receiving target therapy, and 34 receiving combined therapy. Data were collected before the start of treatment, at 4 weeks, and at 12 weeks following the start of treatment. Symptom severity and interference were assessed by the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory. The physical and mental components of quality of life (physical component score [PCS] and mental component score [MCS]) were assessed using SF-36. Results: There were no significant differences in symptom severity and interference for patients in the 3 therapy groups. The PCSs did not differ significantly according to the therapy group but did decrease significantly after each treatment. Patients receiving target therapy had significantly higher MCSs than did patients receiving chemotherapy, but the MCSs did not differ significantly before and after the treatment. Patients with higher symptom severity and interference had worse PCS and MCS. Conclusions: Patients at all treatment groups had worse physical components quality of life after treatment as compared with before treatment. Patients receiving target therapy had better mental components of quality of life. The mental components of quality of life remained stable during treatment. Implications for practice: Nurses should assess the patients' symptoms during treatment and provide timely intervention to optimize their quality of life.
Article
Prevalence of symptoms, with a focus on fatigue, and changes of symptoms were explored over three months in outpatients with lymphoma, lung, breast or colorectal cancer, receiving chemotherapy in the oncology outpatient clinic of a Swiss tertiary care hospital. Prospective, descriptive design; symptom prevalence was measured at start of chemotherapy (T1), and one week prior to the third and fourth cycle (T2, T3). Included were patients starting chemotherapy, with expected survival of >3 months, irrespective of stage of disease. The Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale was used to assess 32 symptoms; fatigue was measured with the FACIT-Fatigue Scale (negative scale). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and random-intercept regression models. 77 patients participated at T1, 58 and 50 at T2 and T3. Patients experienced on average 9.8, 14.4, and 13.7 symptoms, showing a significant increase over time. Lack of energy and feeling drowsy were most frequent. Symptom scores for lack of energy, changes in skin, pain, and feeling drowsy remained >2 over time (scale 0-4, higher scores = more symptoms). Fatigue mean scores were 36.3, 30.2, and 31.3, showing a significant increase of fatigue over time. Individual symptom trajectories varied widely within and among patients. High symptom prevalence at start of chemotherapy as well as over time and great variability in symptom experience call for an individual, systematic symptom assessment and management that does not focus solely on side-effects of therapy but includes disease-related symptoms to achieve satisfactory control of symptoms in outpatients receiving chemotherapy.
Article
Electrodermal measurements with a Ryodoraku instrument were used to monitor the effects of a 2-day qigong workshop on the body energy of participants. Measurements were made of the relative electrical conductivity of 24 acupuncture points on the wrists and feet of 29 subjects. Each subject was measured in the morning and afternoon of each day, and the subjects served as their own control. The standard deviation of the mean values of the Ryodoraku responses of individuals and of the group were less in the afternoons than in the mornings with p-values of 0.004 and 0.0001 for the first and second days, respectively. The decreases in the values of the standard deviations indicate that the balance of the body energy of individuals and the group had improved, presumably as a result of the workshop. We also found that all Ryodoraku responses were significantly greater in the afternoons than in the mornings, a result that is attributed to a circadian rhythm. The improved balance of qi energy in the body of the participants indicates that qigong practice has the potential to improve health. Electrodermal measurements for monitoring Eastern and Western therapies are discussed.
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