Psychological and neurophysiological effects of Qigong exercise on older adults with co-occurring depression and chronic medical illness

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Psychological and neurophysiological effects of Qigong exercise on older adults with co-occurring depression and chronic medical illness

 

Author: Chan, Edward Peter
Title: Psychological and neurophysiological effects of Qigong exercise on older adults with co-occurring depression and chronic medical illness
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2012
Subject: Qi gong -- Therapeutic use.
Depression, Mental -- Treatment.
Chronically ill -- Treatment.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: vi, 78 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2615841
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6955
Abstract: The present study explored the psychological effect and its underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of Qigong exercise in relation to its anti-depressive effect. Fifty-seven geriatric subjects with depression and co-existing chronic medical illness were recruited and randomly assigned to the experimental (Qigong) or comparison group (newspaper reading) for 12 weeks. Other than depression and psychological status, blood and saliva samples were collected for assessing serotonin and cortisol levels respectively as neurological biomarkers of depression. The results indicated that subjects practicing Qigong exercise were less depressed and showed significant improvement in self-efficacy and self-concept of physical wellbeing when compared to the newspaper reading group during the intervention period. A positive trend was demonstrated that salivary cortisol, but not blood serotonin, dropped more in the experimental group in the post-treatment. Among those with more severe depression, the reduction in cortisol reached significant level compared with the control. The results supported our hypotheses that Qigong exercise induced anti-depressive effect among older adults with mild to moderate depression with co-occurring chronic medical illness. This may be explained by the down-regulation of Hypothalamas-Pituaity-Adrenal (HPA) activity among those who were relatively more severe in their depression. Suggestions for clinical practice and further studies are made.

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