Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effect of a Chinese traditional exercise program, Qigong Yi Jinjing (QYJJ), on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: One hundred and thirty eligible COPD patients were randomly divided into three groups: the QYJJ group (n = 42), the self-management exercise group (n = 43), and the control group (n = 45). Data were collected and analyzed at baseline and again at one, three, and six months. A pulmonary rehabilitation index, consisting of pulmonary function, six-minute walk test, Regulatory Emotion Self-Efficacy questionnaire, and exercise of the COPD Assessment Test widely used to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQL) in participants with COPD, was measured.
Results: Compared with the other groups, participants in QYJJ group had significantly better lung function (forced expiratory volume in one second: F = 8.96, p = 0.000; forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity: F = 11.55, p = 0.000; the percentage of forced expiratory volume in one second in prediction: F = 24.27, p = 0.000); walked a longer distance (F = 152.52, p = 0.000), and had more satisfactory HRQL (F = 14.08, p = 0.000). QYJJ training also contributed to improving the ability of emotion regulation (F = 36.56, p = 0.000). There were significant positive changes in expressing positive affect (F = 56.25, p = 0.000) and managing despondency/distress (F = 21.58, p = 0.000), apart from the ability to regulate anger/irritation (F = 1.20, p = 0.305). The longer QYJJ is practiced, the more effective the influence is on the pulmonary rehabilitation-related index measures.
Conclusions: These results indicate that QYJJ exercise produced positive effects on pulmonary function, physical activity, emotion regulation self-efficiency (modulating the expression of despondency or distress and experiencing and expressing positive affect), and HRQL in patients with COPD.
Keywords: Qigong Yi Jinjing; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); emotion regulation; health-related quality of life (HRQL); physical activity; pulmonary function.