Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 165–176 | Cite as

Randomized Controlled Trial of Qigong/Tai Chi Easy on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

  • Linda K. Larkey
  • Denise J. Roe
  • Karen L. Weihs
  • Roger Jahnke
  • Ana Maria Lopez
  • Carol E. Rogers
  • Byeongsang Oh
  • Jose Guillen-Rodriguez
Original Article



Many breast cancer survivors experience fatigue, mood, and sleep disturbances.


This study aims to compare a meditative movement practice, Qigong/Tai Chi Easy (QG/TCE) with sham Qigong (SQG), testing effects of meditation/breath aspects of QG/TCE on breast cancer survivors’ persistent fatigue and other symptoms.


This double-blind, randomized controlled trial tested 12 weeks of QG/TCE versus SQG on fatigue, depression, and sleep among 87 postmenopausal, fatigued breast cancer survivors, stages 0–III, age 40–75.


Fatigue decreased significantly in the QG/TCE group compared to control at post-intervention (p = 0.005) and 3 months follow-up (p = 0.024), but not depression and sleep quality. Improvement occurred over time for both interventions in depression and sleep quality (all p < 0.05).


QG/TCE showed significant improvement over time compared to SQG for fatigue, but not depression or sleep. Both QG/TCE and SQG showed improvement for two prevalent symptoms among breast cancer survivors, depression and sleep dysfunction.


Fatigue Qigong Tai Chi Breast neoplasm Survivor symptoms 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Office of Women’s Health) grant number 5 U01 AT002706-03 and the Arizona Cancer Center Support Grant (P50 CA023074). Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and the associated Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center provided additional support.

Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards

Linda K. Larkey, PhD; Denise J. Roe, DrPH; Karen L. Weihs, MD; Roger Jahnke, OMD; Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP; Carol E. Rogers, PhD, RN; Byeongsang Oh, OMD, PhD; and Jose Guillen-Rodriguez declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Responsible Committee on Human Experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda K. Larkey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Denise J. Roe
    • 3
  • Karen L. Weihs
    • 4
  • Roger Jahnke
    • 5
  • Ana Maria Lopez
    • 6
  • Carol E. Rogers
    • 7
  • Byeongsang Oh
    • 8
    • 9
  • Jose Guillen-Rodriguez
    • 6
  1. 1.College of Nursing & Health InnovationArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Mayo Clinic Cancer CenterMayo ClinicScottsdaleUSA
  3. 3.Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public HealthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  5. 5.Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai ChiHealth Action IncorporatedSanta BarbaraUSA
  6. 6.Arizona Cancer CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  7. 7.University of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahomaUSA
  8. 8.Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  9. 9.Harvard Medical SchoolHarvard UniversityBostonUSA

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