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Effects of Qigong on Quality of Life, Fatigue, Stress, Neuropathy, and Sexual Function in Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Feasibility Study | Abstract
International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9096

Abstract

Effects of Qigong on Quality of Life, Fatigue, Stress, Neuropathy, and Sexual Function in Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Feasibility Study

Oh B, Butow P, Boyle F, Beale P, Costa DSJ, Pavlakis N, Bell D, Davis E, Choi SM, Lee MS, Rosenthal D and Clark S

Background: Women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) suffer from psychological and physiological symptoms and side effects of therapy. When the treatment is non-curative, quality of life (QOL) is a major issue. This study aimed to examine the feasibility, safety, and effects of Medical Qigong (MQ: integration of gentle exercise and meditation) in improving QOL in women with MBC. Method: Women with MBC were randomized to a MQ group (n=14) or meditation control group (n=13). QOL, fatigue, stress, neuropathy symptoms and sexual function were measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Breast (FACT-B), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-fatigue (FACT-F), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), neurotoxicity subscale of the FACT/GOG-NTX, and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) subscales at pre-intervention and weeks 5 and 10. Results: No serious adverse events were reported during or after MQ intervention. Sixty three percent of participants completed the study (MQ intervention (n=9) and meditation control (n=8)). There were no significant differences in overall QOL (p= 0.84), fatigue (p=0.71), perceived stress level (p=0.52), sexual satisfaction (p=0.55), sexual activities (p=0.95) and sexual relationship (p=0.79) between the groups, although difference in neuropathic symptoms (p=0.014) were significant. Conclusions: A MQ trial in women with MBC is feasible and safe. MQ may have the potential to relieve symptoms experienced by women with MBC and prevent deterioration of neuropathy. A larger study with adequate power to confirm these results and detect clinically relevant effects is needed.