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A comparison between a Tai Chi program and a usual medical care program

A comparison between a Tai Chi program and a usual medical care program in chronic cardiovascular disease participants in quality of life, psychological health, resilience, blood pressure and body mass index

Jing Sun1, School of Public Health and Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Queensland 4222, Australia
Nicholas Buys, School of Human Services and Social Work, and Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

Background: There is increasing evidence that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is linked to a number of psychosocial risk factors and biophysiological risk factors such as metabolic syndrome. The development of effective therapeutic interventions for CVD patients, such as Tai Chi practice, to modify high-risk lifestyles and behaviours and reduce psychosocial and biophysiological risk factors, is a promising primary healthcare approach. This study compared Tai Chi programme CVD participants with CVD patients who did not participate in the Tai Chi programme as the control group in health-related quality of life (HRQoL), including physical health, role-physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role-emotional, and mental health. In addition, psychological distress and resilience, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure were measured.

Methods: In 2012, a case-control study was conducted to compare a group of CVD patients participating in a community based meditation intervention programme with CVD patients who did not participate in the programme. Measures included the Short-Form 12 Health Survey (SF-12), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ30), Resilience Scale, BMI, and blood pressure. Univariate analysis of variance was used to compare the difference between participants with cardiac chronic diseases who had taken part in 2 years regular Tai Chi and cardiac patients who did not participate in the Tai Chi programme.

Results: Outcomes differed in significance and magnitude across four HRQoL measures, psychological distress, and resilience. The Tai Chi group also showed fewer incidences of being overweight or suffering from obesity and psychological distress.

Conclusions: Regular and more than 2 years meditation exercises had a beneficial effect on HRQoL, reducing psychological distress, promoting resilience, managing and taking an active role in managing health condition, and reducing BMI and blood pressure level in CVD patients.

Keywords: blood pressure; body mass index; mind-body meditation approach; psychological health; quality of life; resilience; Tai Chi

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