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Cardiac rehabilitation for the elderly: Qi Gong and group discussions


BACKGROUND: Over the last decade several studies have shown that patients with coronary artery disease even above the age of 70 can be successfully treated with advanced medical and surgical methods. Unfortunately, rehabilitation programmes for this group are rarely offered. It is important to develop forms of rehabilitation that are adapted to the specific needs of this increasing group of elderly patients. The aim of this randomized study was to investigate whether the combination of Qi Gong and group discussions would increase physical ability for elderly patients > or =73 years with coronary artery disease. METHODS: A total of 95 patients (66 men and 29 women), with documented coronary artery disease, were randomized to an intervention group (n=48) mean age 77+/-3 (73-82) or to a control group (n=47) mean age 78+/-3 (73-84). The intervention groups met weekly over 3 months. The control group got usual care. Physical ability was assessed at baseline and after the intervention. RESULTS: Patients in the intervention group increased their self-estimated level of physical activity (P=0.011), and their performance in the one-leg stance test for the right leg (P=0.029), co-ordination (P=0.021) and the box-climbing test for right leg (P=0.035). CONCLUSION: A combination of Qi Gong and group discussions appear to be a promising rehabilitation for elderly cardiac patients in terms of improving self-reported physical activity, balance and co-ordination. This could be an option for elderly patients who do not participate in the ordinary cardiac rehabilitation.

Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2005 Feb;12(1):5-11. Stenlund T, Lindström B, Granlund M, Burell G. Heart Centre, University Hospital, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden. therese.stenlund@vll.se






Posted: 08/15/2010

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