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J Altern Complement Med. 2006 May;12(4):373-8.

An evaluation of two behavioral rehabilitation programs, qigong versus progressive relaxation, in improving the quality of life in cardiac patients.

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Occupational Therapy Department, United Christian Hospital, Hospital Authority, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



The aim of the current study was to evaluate and compare two different behavioral rehabilitation programs in improving the quality of life in cardiac patients in Hong Kong.


The current study was carried out in the outpatient unit of Occupational Therapy Department in the United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong. Convenience sampling with referral from the cardiac specialty was used in the present study.


A total of 65 subjects, with a mean age 65 (range, 42 to 76), were recruited in the study. The cardiac diseases included myocardial infarct, postcoronary intervention, valve replacement, and also ischemic heart disease.


Patients were alternately allocated to the two groups. The first group of patients received instructions and practiced on progressive relaxation. The second group of patients underwent training in qigong. A total of eight sessions were conducted and each session lasted 20 minutes.


Demographic and clinical data such as gender, age, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure were recorded. The psychological and Quality of Life assessment was performed using the Chinese versions of Short Form 36 (C-SF36), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (C-STAI), and General Health Questionnaire (C-GHQ-12).


Fifty-nine (59) subjects (44 men and 15 women) completed all eight rehabilitation sessions in the study. Patients allocated to the two treatment groups had comparable baseline characteristics. Progressive relaxation was more effective in reducing blood pressures compared to qigong. Relaxation appeared to be particularly beneficial in somatic domains. qigong group demonstrated greater improvement in psychologic measures in addition to reduction in systolic blood pressure.


Progressive relaxation and qigong exercise improved the quality of life for cardiac patients with reference to certain physiologic and psychologic measures. The result was supported by previous studies and literature reviews on qigong in terms of its effect on the psychologic dimension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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