Research abstract:

Bereavement may bring negative impacts on the mind, body, and spiritual well-being of grieving persons. Some bereaved persons with chronic fatigue syndrome- (CFS-) illness experience a dual burden of distress.

This study investigated the effects of bereavement on CFS-like illness by comparing bereaved and non-bereaved participants. It also adopted a random group design to investigate the effectiveness of Qigong on improving the well-being of bereaved participants.

The Qigong intervention comprised 10 group sessions delivered twice a week for 5 weeks and home-practice for at least three times a week lasting 15–30 minutes each. The participants’ fatigue, anxiety, and depression, quality of life (QoL), and spiritual well-being were measured at baseline and 3 months after treatment.

The bereaved participants experienced significantly greater mental fatigue (16.09 versus 14.44, p = 0.017) and lower physical QoL (34.02 versus 37.17, p = 0.011) than their nonbereaved counterparts. After 3 months, the mental fatigue (−8 versus −4, p = 0.010) and physical fatigue (−10 versus −5, p = 0.007) experienced by intervention group had declined significantly, and improvements on their spirituality (14 versus −2, p = 0.013) and psychological QoL (8.91 versus 0.69, p = 0.002) scores exceeded those of the control group.

From Body to Mind and Spirit: Qigong Exercise for Bereaved Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Like Illness, by Jie Li, Jessie S. M. Chan, Amy Y. M. Chow, Lai Ping Yuen, and Cecilia L. W. Chan in Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 631410 [Published online 2015 Oct 4]

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