Tai Chi Exercise in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure
May 28, 2011
Preliminary evidence suggests that meditative exercise may have benefits for
patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HF); this has not been rigorously
tested in a large clinical sample. We sought to investigate whether Tai Chi, as
an adjunct to standard care, improves functional capacity and quality of life in
patients with HF.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
of Harvard University, a single-blind, multisite, parallel-group, randomized
controlled trial evaluated 100 outpatients with systolic HF who were recruited
between May 1, 2005, and September 30, 2008. A group-based 12-week tai chi
exercise program or time-matched education was conducted. Outcome measures
included exercise capacity (6- minute walk test and peak oxygen uptake) and
disease-specific quality of life (Minnesota Living With Heart Failure
RESULTS: Mean (SD) age of patients was 67 (11) years. At completion of the study, there
were no significant differences in change in 6-minute walk distance and peak
oxygen uptake when comparing tai chi and control groups; however, patients in
the tai chi group had greater improvements in quality of life (Minnesota Living
With Heart Failure Questionnaire). Improvements with tai chi were also seen in
exercise self-efficacy (Cardiac Exercise Self-efficacy Instrument) and mood
(Profile of Mood States total mood disturbance).
CONCLUSION: Tai chi exercise may improve quality of life, mood, and exercise self-efficacy
in patients with HF.
This study is published in the April 2011 issue of Archive
of Internal Medicine.