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Tai Chi for Fatigue in Lung Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy
January 19, 2016 -
The December 2015 issue of the Journal of pain and symptom management published a Chinese study that aimed to assess the effectiveness of Tai Chi exercise for cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in patients with lung cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

The researchers conducted a randomized trial of Tai Chi exercise as compared with low-impact exercise as a control intervention. Exercises were practiced every other day, a one-hour session for 12 weeks for each of the study groups. The primary endpoint was a change in total score of the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form (MFSI-SF). Secondary endpoints were changes in five subscale scores of the MFSI-SF. All assessments were repeated at three time points, T0: before first course of chemotherapy; T1: before third course of chemotherapy; and T2: at the end of the fourth course of chemotherapy.

Between January 2012 and December 2014, 96 patients were enrolled in this trial. At six weeks and 12 weeks, the Tai Chi group had a lower MFSI-SF total score compared with the control group. At six weeks, the Tai Chi group had lower MFSI-SF general subscale scores and physical subscale scores, and higher MFSI-SF vigor subscale scores, compared with the control group. But no significant differences were found in emotional subscale and mental subscale scores between the Tai Chi group and the control group. At 12 weeks, the MFSI-SF subscale scores showed the same trends as at six weeks.

The conclusion from the study: Tai Chi is an effective intervention for managing cancer-related fatigue in patients with lung cancer undergoing chemotherapy, especially for decreasing general fatigue and physical fatigue, and increasing vigor.


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