A pilot randomized controlled trial using Baduanjin qigong to reverse frailty status among post-treatment older cancer survivors

Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Pui Hing Chau, Tai Chung Lam, Alina Yee Man Ng, Tiffany Wan Han Kwok, Naomi Takemura, Jean Woo, Doris Sau Fung Yu, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility and potential effects of qigong Baduanjin for reversing frailty status among older cancer survivors. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight older cancer survivors screened as pre-frail or frail were recruited. They were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive a sixteen-week Baduanjin intervention or an active control condition (light flexibility exercise). Frailty status (primary outcome) and secondary outcomes (physical performance, activities of daily living performance, psychological well-being, and health-related quality of life) were measured by physical performance tests and questionnaires. Qualitative interviews were conducted to explore participants' perspectives on the intervention. Results: Twenty-one participants (75%) completed the study, with reasons of withdrawal mainly relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance at Baduanjin sessions and adherence to self-practice were satisfactory, with all retained participants attending all sessions and 81.8% practicing Baduanjin for more than 90 min per week. Qualitative findings demonstrated that participants accepted Baduanjin. The proportion of improvement in frailty status at post-intervention appeared to be higher in the intervention group (26.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.1% to 54.0%) than the control group (15.4%; 95% CI, 3.7% to 46.0%); yet the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.461). Conclusions: Baduanjin qigong appears to be feasible and acceptable among older cancer survivors. To confirm the intervention effect, an adequately powered trial is warranted. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04694066. Retrospectively registered 5 January 2021, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04694066.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • cancer
  • Clinical trials
  • Exercise
  • Frailty
  • Mind-body exercise
  • Qigong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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