Qigong for Fibromyalgia
August 15, 2014 -
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) and an
extension trial of qigong (Chaoyi
Fanhuan Qigong [CFQ])
in patients with fibromyalgia were recently completed by Dalhousie University in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In this study, a qualitative analysis of comments
from the RCT was undertaken using motivation and amount of practice to determine
whether initial experiences provided information relevant to outcomes.
Participants in the RCT received instruction in Qigong (level 1 CFQ),
practiced 45 minutes per day and continued practice to 6 months; open-ended qualitative comments on experiences were invited at 8 weeks and 4 and
EExtension trial participants received further instruction (level 2 CFQ) and
practiced regularly for 8 weeks-6 months. Comments from the original
RCT were considered as narratives for the extension trial subgroup (20 members)
and thematically, according to amount of practice, for all 73 participants who
completed the RCT.
Narrative comments from the RCT for those who completed the
extension trial and those who withdrew from that trial were considered
separately. Participants reporting benefits within the first 8 weeks were more
likely to maintain practice and report continued benefits at 4-6 months than
those who withdrew from the trial. Thematic comments for the 73 participants who
completed the RCT were considered in relation to amount of practice (per
protocol, intermediate, minimal). Participants who practiced per protocol during
the initial 8 weeks (>=5 hours/week) were more likely to maintain practice over
4-6 months and to report beneficial health effects from/span> qigong.
This retrospective qualitative analysis of information collected
in an RCT of Qigong for
fibromyalgia indicates that favorable initial experiences with the practice over
8 weeks predispose to continued practice and more health effects. Future
individual trials and meta-analyses of Qigong will need to attend to the amount, and
potentially quality, of practice undertaken in considering trial outcomes.
This study is published in the August 2014 issue of
Journal of alternative and complementary