Effects of a Taiji Quan exercise intervention on balance, mobility, and quality of life of people treated for cancer / by Yijian Yang.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a Taiji Quan intervention on balance, mobility, and quality of life in cancer patients experiencing side effects of treatment. A sample of 18 people aged 42 to 85 (mean age of 54) with varying types of cancer and side effects participated in this study. Eleven participants comprised the Taiji group and took part in twice weekly 60 minute Taiji Quan 6-form Qigong for nine weeks. Seven participants were assigned to a waiting-list control group and did not practice Taiji Quan exercise during the nine week waiting period. All participants completed pre and post assessments of postural control on the AMTI force platform, the ATGUG, the RMI, and quality of life questionnaires including MOS SF-36, EORTC QLQ-C30, and ESAS. Paired samples t-tests were used to evaluate the changes from pre to post assessment within each group. Statistically significant decreases in AP, AS and PL in quiet standing with eyes closed, ATGUG time, and fatigue were observed in the Taiji group. The Taiji group also had significant increases in all measures of the balance space task, physical, mental, and social function. On the other hand, the control group showed significantly decreased measures in balance, mobility, and quality of life. A two by two mixed factorial ANOVA was also conducted to determine the effects of Taiji Quan intervention. Strong interactions of time* group with small to medium effect sizes were found in the balance space task, RMI, ATGUG, mental and social function, fatigue, and nausea. It was concluded that Taiji Quan exercise intervention may be beneficial for people experiencing side effects from cancer treatment. Due to the small sample size in this study, the exact role of the Taiji Quan intervention has to be defined by a randomly controlled design with larger sample sizes and homogenous participants.