Tai Chi and Participants with Breast Cancer
Influence of Tai Chi on Functional Capacity in Breast Cancer
Mustian, K. M., Katula, J. A., & Zhao, H. (2006) A pilot study to assess the influence of Tai Chi Chuan on functional capacity among breast cancer survivors. The Journal of Supportive Oncology, 4(3), 139-145.
This study compared the influence of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) and Psychosocial Support Therapy (PST) on functional capacity among women who had completed treatments of breast cancer within the past 30 months.
Twenty-one women who had completed treatment of breast cancer participated in the study.
Participants were either assigned to a 12-week (3 sessions per week) TCC exercise group or PST usual care control group. Aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and flexibility were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks. A repeated-measures experimental design was used to compare the two groups.
The TCC group demonstrated significant improvement in all three measures of functional capacity at 12 weeks as well as statistically non-significant improvement in body composition. In contrast, the PST group showed declines in aerobic capacity, muscular fitness, and body composition at 12 weeks, with significant improvement in abduction and non-significant improvement in all other areas of flexibility.
These results suggest that TCC may be effective in improving functional capacity among women diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer. Future research is needed to determine the optimal dose of TCC needed to elicit health-related benefits among breast cancer survivors. Tai Chi Chuan may have potential as a therapeutic intervention for optimizing recovery following treatment of breast cancer.