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Heart, Lung and Circulation

The Effects of Tai Chi on Lung Function, Exercise Capacity and Health Related Quality of Life for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Pilot Study

Published:August 01, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2018.05.204

      Background

      Although several studies have assessed the effect of Tai Chi in management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), these studies have a wide sample variation and convey inconclusive results. This study aims to determine if a 3-month Tai Chi program improves lung function, exercise capacity, and health related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with COPD.

      Methods

      A randomised controlled, single blind trial was undertaken. Patients were randomly allocated to either Tai Chi group (n = 26) or control group (n = 24). Participants in the Tai Chi group received a Tai Chi exercise program three times weekly for 3-months while participants in the control group were advised to maintain their routine activities. Outcome measures included lung function, 6-minute walk distance (6WMD) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT). The measurements took place at baseline and immediately after the 3-month intervention period.

      Results

      Of 50 participants, 46 completed the intervention. Compared to control, Tai Chi significantly increased 6WMD (mean difference 60.5m, 95% CI 30.27–78.69), and reduced score of CAT (mean difference 14 points, 95% CI 11–24). An 86% compliance to the Tai Chi training was noted and no adverse events were observed in Tai Chi group.

      Conclusions

      The Tai Chi program is a safe, effective and feasible method to improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in people with COPD.

      Keywords

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