Impact of medical Qigong on quality of life, fatigue, mood and inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial

Ann Oncol. 2010 Mar;21(3):608-614. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp479. Epub 2009 Oct 30.


Background: Substantial numbers of cancer patients use complementary medicine therapies, even without a supportive evidence base. This study aimed to evaluate in a randomized controlled trial, the use of Medical Qigong (MQ) compared with usual care to improve the quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients.

Patients and methods: One hundred and sixty-two patients with a range of cancers were recruited. QOL and fatigue were measured by Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue, respectively, and mood status by Profile of Mood State. The inflammatory marker serum C-reactive protein (CRP) was monitored serially.

Results: Regression analysis indicated that the MQ group significantly improved overall QOL (t(144) = -5.761, P < 0.001), fatigue (t(153) = -5.621, P < 0.001), mood disturbance (t(122) =2.346, P = 0.021) and inflammation (CRP) (t(99) = 2.042, P < 0.044) compared with usual care after controlling for baseline variables.

Conclusions: This study indicates that MQ can improve cancer patients' overall QOL and mood status and reduce specific side-effects of treatment. It may also produce physical benefits in the long term through reduced inflammation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • C-Reactive Protein