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Effects of Tai Chi App and Facebook Health Education Programs on Breast Cancer Survivors During Pandemic

June 27, 2022 - A recent study by University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Arizona State University, reported in June 2022 issue of Complementary therapies in clinical practice, investigated the effects of a mobile Tai Chi app and Facebook (FB) program on stress and quality of life (QoL) among breast cancer survivors.

This study was a remote, 12-week 2-arm parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT). Breast cancer survivors were randomly assigned into either the Tai Chi intervention condition (using an app to practice Tai Chi three times a day, at least five days/week and receiving FB health tips) or the comparison condition (receiving FB health tips only). The final sample comprised 35 female breast cancer survivors. The Perceived Stress Scale was utilized to measure stress and the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System was adopted to assess QoL - mental health (anxiety and depression) and physical health.

No significant time × group interaction effects emerged for stress and mental health and physical health. Yet, a significant time effect was observed for mental health and physical health, but not for stress. Specifically, participants' physical health and mental health significantly improved over time across both groups. Also, a group effect for mental health approached the significant level. In detail, the Tai Chi participants had significantly better mental health at follow-up test compared to the comparison participants.

The study findings suggested that the implementation of the Tai Chi app combined FB health tips program had positive effects on breast cancer survivors’ mental health. Also, offering a health education program could be beneficial to breast cancer survivors' physical health as well.




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