“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ranks as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide [1]. In terms of morbidity, COPD ranks 13th. The World Health Organization estimates that the disease will become the third global killer by 2030. COPD is a progressive disease, and the lung functions of COPD patients may continue to deteriorate [2]. Manifestations of COPD include fatigue, weakness, activity intolerance, and dyspnoea. As the disease worsens, its signs and symptoms become more obvious, and the patient’s ability to perform daily activities is affected [3]. Patients may become increasingly dependent on others, may stop participating in activities, and finally may isolate themselves [4]. The effect of the disease on both physical and emotional aspects of life may lead to disability and an impaired emotional state [5], which would in turn influence the quality of life. If COPD patients are better supported and cared for, these negative psychosocial consequences may be prevented or mitigated [6]. Therefore, measures to minimize patients’ suffering need to be implemented [7]. With existing evidence supporting the benefits of exercise in COPD patients [8], Tai Chi Qigong may be an alternative exercise for this group of people. Tai Chi Qigong is a form of gentle exercise suitable for older adults and relatively frail people because it can be mastered without much exertion [9, 10]. These known characteristics of Tai Chi Qigong match with the background of COPD patients who may not have good physical statuses.”

Objectives:  To evaluate the sustaining effects of Tai Chi Qigong (TCQ) in improving the psychosocial health in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in the sixth month.

Background: COPD affects both physical and emotional aspects of life. Measures to minimize patients’ suffering need to be implemented.

Methods: 206 COPD patients were randomly assigned into three groups: TCQ group, exercise group, and control group. The TCQ group completed a three-month TCQ program, the exercise group practiced breathing and walking exercise, and the control group received usual care.

Results: Significant group-by-time interactions in quality of life (QOL) using St. George’s respiratory questionnaire (P = 0.002) and the perceived social support from friends using multidimensional scale of perceived social support (P = 0.04) were noted. Improvements were observed in the TCQ group only.

Conclusions: TCQ has sustaining effects in improving psychosocial health; it is also a useful and appropriate exercise for COPD patients


Study conducted by:
Chan AWK, Lee A, Lee DTF, Sit JWH, Chair SY. Evaluation of the Sustaining Effects of Tai Chi Qigong in the Sixth Month in Promoting Psychosocial Health in COPD Patients: A Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. The Scientific World Journal. 2013;2013:425082. doi:10.1155/2013/425082.


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