Psychological effects of Yi Ren Medical Qigong and progressive resistance training in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled pilot study

Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;18(1):30-4.


Background: Previous studies suggest that qigong therapy has physiological benefits for adults with type 2 diabetes; however, information about the psychological benefits of qigong therapy in this population is limited.

Objective: The objective of this research project was to identify psychological responses to qigong vs control interventions in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Design: The research team designed a randomized, controlled, three-arm clinical trial comparing 12 weeks of Yi Ren Medical Qigong (YRMQ), progressive resistance training (PRT), and standard care.

Setting: The study was performed at Bastyr University Research Institute, Kenmore, Washington.

Participants: Participants were 13 men and 19 women (N=32) with diagnosed type 2 diabetes, a mean age of 56.3 ± 8.1 (standard deviation) years, glycated hemoglobin > 7.5%, and fasting blood glucose > 7 mmol/dL (126 mg/dL).

Intervention: For 12 weeks, participants in the YRMQ and PRT group attended a 1-hour weekly group session that a certified instructor led and were instructed to practice at least twice a week for 30 minutes.

Primary outcome measures: The research team used the Perceived Stress Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory scores to analyze the data.

Results: YRMQ decreased perceived-stress scores by 29.3% (P < .05) and depression scores by 14.3% (not significant [NS]). The active control group, PRT, also decreased stress scores by 18.6% (NS) and decreased depression scores by 50% (P < .03). Stress and depression measures remained unchanged in the standard care group.

Conclusion: YRMQ and PRT may be beneficial in reducing perceived stress and improving depression in patients with type 2 diabetes, although verification of the clinical significance of these findings requires a longer study with a larger sample size.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Resistance Training*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A