Feasibility and Acceptability of Qigong Exercise in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the United States

Pei Shiun Chang, M. Tish Knobf, Marjorie Funk, Byeongsang Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Qigong exercise has been shown to improve physical and psychological well-being in adults with chronic conditions, but little is known about the feasibility and acceptability of engaging in a qigong exercise program in community-dwelling older adults in the United States. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility, acceptance, and adherence to an 8-week qigong exercise intervention in community-dwelling American older adults. Design: An exploratory study design. Setting: Two senior centers in southern Connecticut. Subjects: Forty-five community-dwelling older adults aged 65 to 85 years enrolled. Intervention: A supervised 1-h health qigong exercise session twice weekly for 8 weeks. Outcome measures: An investigator-designed questionnaire with seven items that were rated on a 1 to 6 scale, with higher scores indicating better results, and nine open-ended questions were used to obtain data on feasibility and acceptability. Adherence was calculated as the proportion of the 16 planned sessions attended. Results: Of the 45 older adults enrolled, 6 never started and 6 withdrew, with 33 evaluable at the end of the intervention. The mean age of the sample was 74.8 years; the majority were female (84.4%) and white (91.1%). Mean scores on aspects of difficulty, acceptability, suitability, or effectiveness of qigong exercise were all ≥5. Participants identified benefits of qigong exercise, such as calming and relaxing feelings, inner peace, better balance, and flexibility. Attendance rate was 78.8%, with 94% performing qigong exercise at least once weekly outside the class. All participants indicated that they would recommend qigong exercise to others. No adverse events occurred. Conclusion: An 8-week qigong exercise program was feasible, acceptable, and safe for American older adults. Future robust randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • American older adults
  • Feasibility
  • acceptability
  • adherence
  • qigong
  • retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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