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Disabil Rehabil. 2004 May 20;26(10):595-602.

Using a novel exercise programme for patients with muscular dystrophy. Part II: a quantitative study.

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Department of Caring Sciences, University of Orebro, Orebro, Sweden.



To quantitatively evaluate the effects of qigong in patients with muscular dystrophy.


Thirty-six patients with muscular dystrophy were assigned to either a treatment or comparison group, by means of a stratified randomization procedure. The intervention period lasted for 3 months. Balance and respiratory function were assessed by means of Berg's Balance Scale and an electronic spirometer, respectively. Health-related quality of life was tested by means of a Swedish version of the Medical Outcome Study Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), coping levels by means of a Swedish version of the Ways of Coping Questionnaire and depression levels by means of a modified version of the Montgomery åsberg Depression Rating Scale.


Perceived general health was maintained in the treatment group whereas this was not the case in the comparison group (p=0.05). Positive reappraisal coping decreased in the treatment group but not in the comparison group (p=0.05). There was a tendency to maintain balance function during training and performance of qigong whilst there was a decline when not training.


Qigong may be useful as an adjunct therapy regimen in patients with muscular dystrophy in that it can bring about a decreased rate of decline in general health. The change in coping pattern in this study needs more investigation. More research is also needed in order to more fully investigate the effects of qigong on such physical variables as balance function.

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