Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a qigong training program in reducing stress in hospital staff.
Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to a 6-week intervention of either qigong practice (n = 16) or a waiting list (n = 21). The primary measure of stress was the Perceived Stress Scale. Secondary measures included the Short Form 36 (SF-36) quality-of-life measure and a 100-mm analog pain scale.
Results: The qigong group demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of perceived stress compared to the control group (p = 0.02). On the Social Interaction subscale of the SF-36, the qigong group demonstrated greater improvement compared to controls (p = 0.04). Within-groups analyses demonstrated that the qigong group (p = 0.03), but not the control group, experienced a significant reduction of pain intensity. A regression analysis demonstrated an association between higher baseline stress levels and greater improvement within the qigong group (R(2) = 0.34; p = 0.02).
Conclusions: These results suggest that short-term exposure to qigong was effective in reducing stress in hospital staff. Further studies are needed to evaluate the possible effectiveness of qigong in reducing pain and in improving quality of life.