Practitioner 2011;255 (1741): 13

Tai chi enhances quality of life in heart failure

22 Jun 2011Registered users

Tai chi can improve mood, quality of life and exercise self-efficacy in patients with heart failure although it does not appear to increase functional capacity, a study from the US has found. A single-blind, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial evaluated 100 outpatients with systolic heart failure (New York Heart Association class I-III, left ventricular ejection fraction <40%). The mean age of patients enrolled was 67 and the mean ejection fraction 29% (SD 8%). ' The authors conclude that tai chi, as an adjunct to standard medical care, may improve the quality of life, mood, and exercise self-efficacy of patients with heart failure. However, they acknowledge the limitations of this study such as the small sample size and single blind nature of the randomisation. Furthermore, the lack of impact on functional measures may be seen as a lack of meaningful benefit. However, we must not underestimate the value of even a small improvement in the quality of life to such patients. This should certainly lead to further consideration of the role of mind-body interventions in cardiac rehabilitation programmes.'

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