Functional capacity after traditional Chinese medicine (qi gong) training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation: a randomized controlled trial

Prev Cardiol. Winter 2007;10(1):22-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1520-037x.2007.05721.x.

Abstract

Evidence indicates that low energy expenditure protocols derived from traditional Chinese medicine may benefit patients with cardiac impairment; therefore, the authors carried out a randomized controlled trial to test a 16-week medically assisted qi gong training program for the physical rehabilitation of patients with stable chronic atrial fibrillation and preserved left ventricular function. Functional capacity variation was evaluated using the 6-minute walk test, which was performed at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and after 16 weeks. Thirty men and 13 women (mean age, 68+/-8 years) were randomized to the intervention protocol or to a wait-list control group. Qi gong training was well tolerated and, compared with baseline, trained patients walked an average 114 meters more (27%) at the end of treatment (P<.001) and 57 meters more (13.7%) 16 weeks later (P=.008). Control subjects showed no variation in functional capacity. These results seem promising and deserve confirmation with further research.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Middle Aged