Tai chi exercise for patients with chronic heart failure

January 01, 0001

Tai chi exercise for patients with chronic heart failure

These US authors sought to investigate whether tai chi, as an adjunct to standard care, improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with heart failure (HF). They conducted a single-blind, multisite, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial including 100 outpatients with systolic HF (New York Heart Association class I-III, left ventricular ejection fraction 40%). A group-based 12-week tai chi exercise program (n = 50) or time- matched education (n = 50, control group) 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 Questionnaire).

They found: "Mean age of patients was 67 years; baseline values were left ventricular ejection fraction, 29% and peak oxygen uptake, 13.5 mL/kg/min; the median New York Heart Association class of HF was class II. 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, -19 vs 1). Improvements with tai chi were also seen in exercise self-efficacy (Cardiac Exercise Self-efficacy Instrument, 0.1 vs -0.3) and mood (Profile of Mood States total mood disturbance, -6 vs -1)."

The authors concluded: "Tai chi exercise may improve quality of life, mood, and exercise self-efficacy in patients with HF."

Tai chi seems to improve quality of life and mental health even if it doesn’t improve heart failure per se.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Intern Med 171(8):750-757, 25 April 2011
© 2011 to the American Medical Association
Tai Chi Exercise in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure-A Randomized Clinical Trial. Gloria Y. Yeh, Ellen P. McCarthy, Peter M. Wayne, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Yeh: [email protected]

Category: K. Circulatory. Keywords: tai chi, heart failure, exercise, randomized controlled trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 10 May 2011

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