Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 160-170

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Qigong Exercise on Fatigue Symptoms, Functioning, and Telomerase Activity in Persons with Chronic Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Rainbow T. H. HoAffiliated withCentre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong KongDepartment of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong Email author 
  • , Jessie S. M. ChanAffiliated withCentre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong
  • , Chong-Wen WangAffiliated withCentre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong
  • , Benson W. M. LauAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
  • , Kwok Fai SoAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
  • , Li Ping YuenAffiliated withInternational Association for Health and Yangsheng
  • , Jonathan S. T. ShamAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
  • , Cecilia L. W. ChanAffiliated withCentre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong KongDepartment of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Background

Chronic fatigue is common in the general population. Complementary therapies are often used by patients with chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome to manage their symptoms.

Purpose

This study aimed to assess the effect of a 4-month qigong intervention program among patients with chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Methods

Sixty-four participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a wait list control group. Outcome measures included fatigue symptoms, physical functioning, mental functioning, and telomerase activity.

Results

Fatigue symptoms and mental functioning were significantly improved in the qigong group compared to controls. Telomerase activity increased in the qigong group from 0.102 to 0.178 arbitrary units (p < 0.05). The change was statistically significant when compared to the control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

Qigong exercise may be used as an alternative and complementary therapy or rehabilitative program for chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Keywords

Qigong Exercise Chronic fatigue Telomerase Randomized controlled trial