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Qigong Benefits Older Adults in Intermediate Care Rehabilitation Unit
July 15, 2014 -
Qigong has been used as a complementary therapy to improve different health-related problems. Researchers in Spain conducted a study to test the effects of Qigong on quality of life, pain and depressive symptoms in older hospitalized patients.

In this randomized controlled single blind study, they randomized 58 adults aged 50 year or older and admitted to a post-acute intermediate care rehabilitation facility. Half of these participants received a 90 min, bi-weekly, 4-week structured Qigong intervention plus usual care and rehabilitation and the other half received usual care and rehabilitation alone. Outcomes included quality of life (0-100 points visual analogical scale), pain (0-10 points scale), and depressive symptoms (5-item modified Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale). The researchers also evaluated participants' compliance and safety.

Of the enrolled 58 participants (88 % women), four were dropped out of the control group. No statistically significant differences in baseline characteristics were shown between groups, including age, gender, marital status, education, comorbidity and functional status, main diagnostic at admission and number of rehabilitation sessions. In an intention-to-treat analysis (repeated measures ANOVA) the intervention group experienced a significant improvement in quality of life. Pain and depressive symptoms improved in both groups. Adherence was good (79 % of participants completed the whole program). No adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: according to the results, a structured Qigong intervention, together with usual care, might improve quality of life of patients admitted to a post-acute intermediate care rehabilitation unit, compared to usual care.

This study is published in the June 2014 issue of Aging clinical and experimental research.




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