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21.08.2018 | Original Article

Qigong intervention for breast cancer survivors with complaints of decreased cognitive function

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer
Autoren:
Jamie S. Myers, Melissa Mitchell, Susan Krigel, Andreanna Steinhoff, Alyssa Boyce-White, Karla Van Goethem, Mary Valla, Junqiang Dai, Jianghua He, Wen Liu, Susan M Sereika, Catherine M Bender

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of an 8-week Qigong intervention to improve objectively and subjectively assessed cognitive function in breast cancer survivors who were 2 months to 8 years post completion of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Methods

A randomized, single-blind, three-arm intervention pilot was conducted to compare Qigong to gentle exercise and survivorship support. Feasibility was measured by recruitment, group session attendance, and adherence to home practice for the two exercise groups. Changes in self-report and objectively measured cognitive function were compared between the three groups from baseline (T1) to completion of the intervention (T2) and 4 weeks post intervention (T3).

Results

Fifty participants consented (83% of desired sample) with an overall attrition rate of 28%. Attrition was highest for the gentle exercise group (50%). Group attendance adherence ranged from 44 to 67%. The a priori established rate of 75% weekly attendance was not achieved, nor was the goal of 75% adherence to home practice for the two exercise groups (7 to 41%). Self-report of cognitive function improved most for the Qigong group (p = .01). Improvement was demonstrated for the Trail Making A (gentle exercise, p = .007) and F-A-S verbal fluency (support group, p = .02) tests. Qigong participants reported the most reduction of distress (p = .02).

Conclusions

The study results suggest that mindfulness-based exercise may be superior to gentle exercise alone or survivorship support for improving self-report of cognitive function and distress after treatment for breast cancer. The mindfulness component may enhance the positive impact of exercise on cognitive function.

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