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1.  Minding the Mind-Body Literature 
PMCID: PMC5116654  PMID: 27849144
2.  A mindfulness-based intervention to control weight after bariatric surgery: Preliminary results from a randomized controlled pilot trial 
This study aimed to develop and test a novel mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) designed to control weight after bariatric surgery.
Randomized, controlled pilot trial.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.
Bariatric patients 1–5 years post-surgery (n=18) were randomized to receive a 10-week MBI or a standard intervention.
Main outcome measures
Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability of the MBI. Secondary outcomes included changes in weight, eating behaviors, psychosocial outcomes, and metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. Qualitative exit interviews were conducted post-intervention. Major themes were coded and extracted.
Attendance was excellent (6 of 9 patients attended ≥ 7 of 10 classes). Patients reported high satisfaction and overall benefit of the MBI. The intervention was effective in reducing emotional eating at 6 months (−4.9 ± 13.7 in mindfulness vs. 6.2 ± 28.4 in standard, p for between-group difference = 0.03) but not weight. We also observed a significant increase in HbA1C (0.34 ± 0.38 vs. −0.06 ± 0.31, p = 0.03). Objective measures suggested trends of an increase in perceived stress and symptoms of depression, although patients reported reduced stress reactivity, improved eating behaviors, and a desire for continued mindfulness-based support in qualitative interviews.
This novel mindfulness-based approach is highly acceptable to bariatric patients post-surgery and may be effective for reducing emotional eating, although it did not improve weight or glycemic control in the short term. Longer-term studies of mindfulness-based approaches may be warranted in this population.
PMCID: PMC5043638  PMID: 27670865
Mindfulness; obesity; weight; bariatric surgery
3.  Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and the Use of Mind-Body Therapies 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2013;74(6):e520-e526.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms affect 37% of US adults and present in many important diagnoses including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain. However, these symptoms are difficult to treat with standard treatments and patients may seek alternative options. In this study, we examined the use of mind-body therapies by adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms.
We compared mind-body therapy use (use of ≥1 therapy of meditation, yoga, acupuncture, deep-breathing exercises, hypnosis, progressive relaxation therapy, qi gong, and tai chi) between adults with and without neuropsychiatric symptoms (anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, memory deficits, attention deficits, and excessive daytime sleepiness) using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (n=23,393). We examined prevalence and reasons for mind-body therapy use in adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms. We performed logistic regression to examine the association between neuropsychiatric symptoms and mind-body therapy use to adjust for sociodemographic and clinical factors.
Adults with ≥1 neuropsychiatric symptoms used mind-body therapies more than adults without symptoms (25.3%vs.15.0%, p<0.001). Prevalence increased with increasing number of symptoms (21.5% for 1 symptom, 32.4% for ≥3 symptoms, p<0.001); differences persisted after adjustment for potential confounders (OR 1.39[1.26, 1.53] and 2.48[2.18, 2.82]. Reasons for mind-body therapy use among adults with ≥1 symptom included conventional medicine being ineffective or too expensive (30.2%). Most adults (70%) with ≥1 symptom did not discuss their mind-body therapy use with a conventional provider.
Adults with ≥1 neuropsychiatric symptom use mind-body therapies frequently; more symptoms are associated with increased use. Future research is needed to understand the efficacy of these therapies.
PMCID: PMC5548373  PMID: 23842021
4.  World Congress Integrative Medicine & Health 2017: Part one 
Brinkhaus, Benno | Falkenberg, Torkel | Haramati, Aviad | Willich, Stefan N. | Briggs, Josephine P. | Willcox, Merlin | Linde, Klaus | Theorell, Töres | Wong, Lisa M. | Dusek, Jeffrey | Wu, Darong | Eisenberg, David | Haramati, Aviad | Berger, Bettina | Kemper, Kathi | Stock-Schröer, Beate | Sützl-Klein, Hedda | Ferreri, Rosaria | Kaplan, Gary | Matthes, Harald | Rotter, Gabriele | Schiff, Elad | Arnon, Zahi | Hahn, Eckhard | Luberto, Christina M. | Martin, David | Schwarz, Silke | Tauschel, Diethard | Flower, Andrew | Gramminger, Harsha | Gupta, Hedwig H. | Gupta, S. N. | Kerckhoff, Annette | Kessler, Christian S. | Michalsen, Andreas | Kessler, Christian S. | Kim, Eun S. | Jang, Eun H. | Kim, Rana | Jan, Sae B. | Mittwede, Martin | Mohme, Wiebke | Ben-Arye, Eran | Bonucci, Massimo | Saad, Bashar | Breitkreuz, Thomas | Rossi, Elio | Kebudi, Rejin | Daher, Michel | Razaq, Samaher | Gafer, Nahla | Nimri, Omar | Hablas, Mohamed | Kienle, Gunver Sophia | Samuels, Noah | Silbermann, Michael | Bandelin, Lena | Lang, Anna-Lena | Wartner, Eva | Holtermann, Christoph | Binstock, Maxwell | Riebau, Robert | Mujkanovic, Edin | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Michalsen, Andres | Ward, Lesley | Cramer, Holger | Irnich, Dominik | Stör, Wolfram | Burnstock, Geoffrey | Schaible, Hans-Georg | Ots, Thomas | Langhorst, Jost | Lauche, Romy | Sundberg, Tobias | Falkenberg, Torkel | Amarell, Catherina | Amarell, Catherina | Anheyer, Melanie | Eckert, Marion | Eckert, Marion | Ogal, Mercedes | Eckert, Marion | Amarell, Catherina | Schönauer, Annette | Reisenberger, Birgit | Brand, Bernhard | Anheyer, Dennis | Dobos, Gustav | Kroez, Matthias | Martin, David | Matthes, Harald | Ammendola, Aldo | Mao, Jun J. | Witt, Claudia | Yang, Yufei | Dobos, Gustav | Oritz, Miriam | Horneber, Markus | Voiß, Petra | Reisenberger, Birgit | von Rosenstiel, Alexandra | Eckert, Marion | Ogal, Mercedes | Amarell, Catharina | Anheyer, Melanie | Schad, Friedemann | Schläppi, Marc | Kröz, Matthias | Büssing, Arndt | Bar-Sela, Gil | Matthes, Harald | Schiff, Elad | Ben-Arye, Eran | Arnon, Zahi | Avshalomov, David | Attias, Samuel | Schönauer, Annette | Haramati, Aviad | Witt, Claudia | Brinkhaus, Benno | Cotton, Sian | Jong, Miek | Jong, Mats | Scheffer, Christian | Haramati, Aviad | Tauschel, Diethard | Edelhäuser, Friedrich | AlBedah, Abdullah | Lee, Myeong Soo | Khalil, Mohamed | Ogawa, Keiko | Motoo, Yoshiharu | Arimitsu, Junsuke | Ogawa, Masao | Shimizu, Genki | Stange, Rainer | Kraft, Karin | Kuchta, Kenny | Watanabe, Kenji | Bonin, D | Büssing, Arndt | Gruber, Harald | Koch, Sabine | Gruber, Harald | Pohlmann, Urs | Caldwell, Christine | Krantz, Barbara | Kortum, Ria | Martin, Lily | Wieland, Lisa S. | Kligler, Ben | Gould-Fogerite, Susan | Zhang, Yuqing | Wieland, Lisa S. | Riva, John J. | Lumpkin, Michael | Ratner, Emily | Ping, Liu | Jian, Pei | Hamme, Gesa-Meyer | Mao, Xiaosong | Chouping, Han | Schröder, Sven | Hummelsberger, Josef | Wullinger, Michael | Brodzky, Marc | Zalpour, Christoff | Langley, Julia | Weber, Wendy | Mudd, Lanay M. | Wayne, Peter | Witt, Clauda | Weidenhammer, Wolfgang | Fønnebø, Vinjar | Boon, Heather | Steel, Amie | Bugarcic, Andrea | Rangitakatu, Melisa | Steel, Amie | Adams, Jon | Sibbritt, David | Wardle, Jon | Leach, Matthew | Schloss, Janet | Dieze, Helene | Boon, Heather | Ijaz, Nadine | Willcox, Merlin | Heinrich, Michael | Lewith, George | Flower, Andrew | Graz, Bertrand | Adam, Daniela | Grabenhenrich, Linus | Ortiz, Miriam | Binting, Sylvia | Reinhold, Thomas | Brinkhaus, Benno | Andermo, Susanne | Sundberg, Tobias | Falkenberg, Torkel | Nordberg, Johanna Hök | Arman, Maria | Bhasin, Manoj | Fan, Xueyi | Libermann, Towia | Fricchione, Gregory | Denninger, John | Benson, Herbert | Berger, Bettina | Stange, Rainer | Michalsen, Andreas | Martin, David D. | Boers, Inge | Vlieger, Arine | Jong, Miek | Brinkhaus, Benno | Teut, Michael | Ullmann, Alexander | Ortiz, Miriam | Rotter, Gabriele | Binting, Sylvia | Lotz, Fabian | Roll, Stephanie | Canella, Claudia | Mikolasek, Michael | Rostock, Matthias | Beyer, Jörg | Guckenberger, Matthias | Jenewein, Josef | Linka, Esther | Six, Claudia | Stoll, Sarah | Stupp, Roger | Witt, Claudia M. | Chuang, Elisabeth | Kligler, Ben | McKee, Melissa D. | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Klose, Petra | Lange, Silke | Langhorst, Jost | Dobos, Gustav | Chung, Vincent C. H. | Wong, Hoi L. C. | Wu, Xin Y. | Wen, Grace Y. G. | Ho, Robin S. T. | Ching, Jessica Y. L. | Wu, Justin C. Y. | Coakley, Amanda | Flanagan, Jane | Annese, Christine | Empoliti, Joanne | Gao, Zishan | Liu, Xugang | Yu, Shuguang | Yan, Xianzhong | Liang, Fanrong | Hohmann, Christoph D. | Steckhan, Nico | Ostermann, Thomas | Paetow, Arion | Hoff, Evelyn | Michalsen, Andreas | Hu, Xiao-Yang | Wu, Ruo-Han | Logue, Martin | Blonde, Clara | Lai, Lily Y. | Stuart, Beth | Flower, Andrew | Fei, Yu-Tong | Moore, Michael | Liu, Jian-Ping | Lewith, George | Hu, Xiao-Yang | Wu, Ruo-Han | Logue, Martin | Blonde, Clara | Lai, Lily Y. | Stuart, Beth | Flower, Andrew | Fei, Yu-Tong | Moore, Michael | Liu, Jian-Ping | Lewith, George | Jeitler, Michael | Zillgen, Hannah | Högl, Manuel | Steckhan, Nico | Stöckigt, Barbara | Seifert, Georg | Michalsen, Andreas | Kessler, Christian | Khadivzadeh, Talat | Bashtian, Maryam Hassanzadeh | Aval, Shapour Badiee | Esmaily, Habibollah | Kim, Jihye | Kim, Keun H. | Klocke, Carina | Joos, Stefanie | Koshak, Abdulrahman | Wie, Li | Koshak, Emad | Wali, Siraj | Alamoudi, Omer | Demerdash, Abdulrahman | Qutub, Majdy | Pushparaj, Peter | Heinrich, Michael | Kruse, Sigrid | Fischer, Isabell | Tremel, Nadine | Rosenecker, Joseph | Leung, Brenda | Takeda, Wendy | Liang, Ning | Feng, Xue | Liu, Jian-ping | Cao, Hui-juan | Luberto, Christina M. | Shinday, Nina | Philpotts, Lisa | Park, Elyse | Fricchione, Gregory L. | Yeh, Gloria | Munk, Niki | Zakeresfahani, Arash | Foote, Trevor R. | Ralston, Rick | Boulanger, Karen | Özbe, Dominik | Gräßel, Elmar | Luttenberger, Katharina | Pendergrass, Anna | Pach, Daniel | Bellmann-Strobl, Judit | Chang, Yinhui | Pasura, Laura | Liu, Bin | Jäger, Sven F. | Loerch, Ronny | Jin, Li | Brinkhaus, Benno | Ortiz, Miriam | Reinhold, Thomas | Roll, Stephanie | Binting, Sylvia | Icke, Katja | Shi, Xuemin | Paul, Friedemann | Witt, Claudia M. | Rütz, Michaela | Lynen, Andreas | Schömitz, Meike | Vahle, Maik | Salomon, Nir | Lang, Alon | Lahat, Adi | Kopylov, Uri | Ben-Horin, Shomron | Har-Noi, Ofir | Avidan, Benjamin | Elyakim, Rami | Gamus, Dorit | NG, Siew | Chang, Jessica | Wu, Justin | Kaimiklotis, John | Schumann, Dania | Buttó, Ludovica | Langhorst, Jost | Dobos, Gustav | Haller, Dirk | Cramer, Holger | Smith, Caroline | de Lacey, Sheryl | Chapman, Michael | Ratcliffe, Julie | Johnson, Neil | Lyttleton, Jane | Boothroyd, Clare | Fahey, Paul | Tjaden, Bram | van Vliet, Marja | van Wietmarschen, Herman | Jong, Miek | Tröger, Wilfried | Vuolanto, Pia | Aarva, Paulina | Sorsa, Minna | Helin, Kaija | Wenzel, Claudia | Zoderer, Iris | Pammer, Patricia | Simon, Patrick | Tucek, Gerhard | Wode, Kathrin | Henriksson, Roger | Sharp, Lena | Stoltenberg, Anna | Nordberg, Johanna Hök | Xiao-ying, Yang | Wang, Li-qiong | Li, Jin-gen | Liang, Ning | Wang, Ying | Liu, Jian-ping | Balneaves, Lynda | Capler, Rielle | Bocci, Chiara | Guffi, Marta | Paolini, Marina | Meaglia, Ilaria | Porcu, Patrizia | Ivaldi, Giovanni B. | Dragan, Simona | Bucuras, Petru | Pah, Ana M. | Badalica-Petrescu, Marius | Buleu, Florina | Hogea-Stoichescu, Gheorghe | Christodorescu, Ruxandra | Kao, Lan | Cho, Yumin | Klafke, Nadja | Mahler, Cornelia | von Hagens, Cornelia | Uhlmann, Lorenz | Bentner, Martina | Schneeweiss, Andreas | Mueller, Andreas | Szecsenyi, Joachim | Joos, Stefanie | Neri, Isabella | Ortiz, Miriam | Schnabel, Katharina | Teut, Michael | Rotter, Gabriele | Binting, Sylvia | Cree, Margit | Lotz, Fabian | Suhr, Ralf | Brinkhaus, Benno | Rossi, Elio | Baccetti, Sonia | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Monechi, Maria V. | Di Stefano, Mariella | Amunni, Gianni | Wong, Wendy | Chen, Bingzhong | Wu, Justin | Amri, Hakima | Haramati, Aviad | Kotlyanskaya, Lucy | Anderson, Belinda | Evans, Roni | Kligler, Ben | Marantz, Paul | Bradley, Ryan | Booth-LaForce, Cathryn | Zwickey, Heather | Kligler, Benjamin | Brooks, Audrey | Kreitzer, Mary J. | Lebensohn, Patricia | Goldblatt, Elisabeth | Esmel-Esmel, Neus | Jiménez-Herrera, Maria | Ijaz, Nadine | Boon, Heather | Jocham, Alexandra | Stock-Schröer, Beate | Berberat, Pascal O. | Schneider, Antonius | Linde, Klaus | Masetti, Morgana | Murakozy, Henriette | Van Vliet, Marja | Jong, Mats | Jong, Miek | Agdal, Rita | Atarzadeh, Fatemeh | Jaladat, Amir M. | Hoseini, Leila | Amini, Fatemeh | Bai, Chen | Liu, Tiegang | Zheng, Zian | Wan, Yuxiang | Xu, Jingnan | Wang, Xuan | Yu, He | Gu, Xiaohong | Daneshfard, Babak | Nimrouzi, Majid | Tafazoli, Vahid | Alorizi, Seyed M. Emami | Saghebi, Seyed A. | Fattahi, Mohammad R. | Salehi, Alireza | Rezaeizadeh, Hossein | Zarshenas, Mohammad M. | Nimrouzi, Majid | Fox, Kealoha | Hughes, John | Kostanjsek, Nenad | Espinosa, Stéphane | Lewith, George | Fisher, Peter | Latif, Abdul | Lefeber, Donald | Paske, William | Öztürk, Ali Ö. | Öztürk, Gizemnur | Boers, Inge | Tissing, Wim | Naafs, Marianne | Busch, Martine | Jong, Miek | Daneshfard, Babak | Sanaye, Mohammad R. | Dräger, Kilian | Fisher, Peter | Kreitzer, Mary J. | Evans, Roni | Leininger, Brent | Shafto, Kate | Breen, Jenny | Sanaye, Mohammad R. | Daneshfard, Babak | Simões-Wüst, Ana P. | Moltó-Puigmartí, Carolina | van Dongen, Martien | Dagnelie, Pieter | Thijs, Carel | White, Shelley | Wiesener, Solveig | Salamonsen, Anita | Stub, Trine | Fønnebø, Vinjar | Abanades, Sergio | Blanco, Mar | Masllorens, Laia | Sala, Roser | Al-Ahnoumy, Shafekah | Han, Dongwoon | He, Luzhu | Kim, Ha Yun | In Choi, Da | Alræk, Terje | Stub, Trine | Kristoffersen, Agnete | von Sceidt, Christel | Michalsen, Andreas | Bruset, Stig | Musial, Frauke | Anheyer, Dennis | Cramer, Holger | Lauche, Romy | Saha, Felix J. | Dobos, Gustav | Anheyer, Dennis | Haller, Heidemarie | Lauche, Romy | Dobos, Gustav | Cramer, Holger | Azizi, Hoda | Khadem, Nayereh | Hassanzadeh, Malihe | Estiri, Nazanin | Azizi, Hamideh | Tavassoli, Fatemeh | Lotfalizadeh, Marzieh | Zabihi, Reza | Esmaily, Habibollah | Azizi, Hoda | Shabestari, Mahmoud Mohammadzadeh | Paeizi, Reza | Azari, Masoumeh Alvandi | Bahrami-Taghanaki, Hamidreza | Zabihi, Reza | Azizi, Hamideh | Esmaily, Habibollah | Baars, Erik | De Bruin, Anja | Ponstein, Anne | Baccetti, Sonia | Di Stefano, Mariella | Rossi, Elio | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Segantini, Sergio | Monechi, Maria Valeria | Voller, Fabio | Barth, Jürgen | Kern, Alexandra | Lüthi, Sebastian | Witt, Claudia | Barth, Jürgen | Zieger, Anja | Otto, Fabius | Witt, Claudia | Beccia, Ariel | Dunlap, Corina | Courneene, Brendan | Bedregal, Paula | Passi, Alvaro | Rodríguez, Alfredo | Chang, Mayling | Gutiérrez, Soledad | Beissner, Florian | Beissner, Florian | Preibisch, Christine | Schweizer-Arau, Annemarie | Popovici, Roxana | Meissner, Karin | Beljanski, Sylvie | Belland, Laura | Rivera-Reyes, Laura | Hwang, Ula | Berger, Bettina | Sethe, Dominik | Hilgard, Dörte | Heusser, Peter | Bishop, Felicity | Al-Abbadey, Miznah | Bradbury, Katherine | Carnes, Dawn | Dimitrov, Borislav | Fawkes, Carol | Foster, Jo | MacPherson, Hugh | Roberts, Lisa | Yardley, Lucy | Lewith, George | Bishop, Felicity | Al-Abbadey, Miznah | Bradbury, Katherine | Carnes, Dawn | Dimitrov, Borislav | Fawkes, Carol | Foster, Jo | MacPherson, Hugh | Roberts, Lisa | Yardley, Lucy | Lewith, George | Bishop, Felicity | Holmes, Michelle | Lewith, George | Yardley, Lucy | Little, Paul | Cooper, Cyrus | Bogani, Patrizia | Maggini, Valentina | Gallo, Eugenia | Miceli, Elisangela | Biffi, Sauro | Mengoni, Alessio | Fani, Renato | Firenzuoli, Fabio | Brands-Guendling, Nadine | Guendling, Peter W. | Bronfort, Gert | Evans, Roni | Haas, Mitch | Leininger, Brent | Schulz, Craig | Bu, Xiangwei | Wang, J. | Fang, T. | Shen, Z. | He, Y. | Zhang, X. | Zhang, Zhengju | Wang, Dali | Meng, Fengxian | Büssing, Arndt | Baumann, Klaus | Frick, Eckhard | Jacobs, Christoph | Büssing, Arndt | Grünther, Ralph-Achim | Lötzke, Désirée | Büssing, Arndt | Jung, Sonny | Lötzke, Désirée | Recchia, Daniela R. | Robens, Sibylle | Ostermann, Thomas | Berger, Bettina | Stankewitz, Josephin | Kröz, Matthias | Jeitler, Mika | Kessler, Christian | Michalsen, Andreas | Cheon, Chunhoo | Jang, Bo H. | Ko, Seong G. | Huang, Ching W. | Sasaki, Yui | Ko, Youme | Cheshire, Anna | Ridge, Damien | Hughes, John | Peters, David | Panagioti, Maria | Simon, Chantal | Lewith, George | Cho, Hyun J. | Han, Dongwoon | Choi, Soo J. | Jung, Young S. | Im, Hyea B | Cooley, Kieran | Tummon-Simmons, Laura | Cotton, Sian | Luberto, Christina M. | Wasson, Rachel | Kraemer, Kristen | Sears, Richard | Hueber, Carly | Derk, Gwendolyn | Lill, JR | An, Ruopeng | Steinberg, Lois | Rodriguez, Lourdes Diaz | la Fuente, Francisca García-de | De la Vega, Miguel | Vargas-Román, Keyla | Fernández-Ruiz, Jonatan | Cantarero-Villanueva, Irene | Rodriguez, Lourdes Diaz | García-De la Fuente, Francisca | Jiménez-Guerrero, Fanny | Vargas-Román, Keyla | Fernández-Ruiz, Jonatan | Galiano-Castillo, Noelia | Diaz-Saez, Gualberto | Torres-Jimenez, José I. | Garcia-Gomez, Olga | Hortal-Muñoz, Luis | Diaz-Diez, Camino | Dicen, Demijon | Diezel, Helene | Adams, Jon | Steel, Amie | Wardle, Jon | Diezel, Helene | Steel, Amie | Frawley, Jane | Wardle, Jon | Broom, Alex | Adams, Jon | Dong, Fei | Yu, He | Liu, Tiegang | Ma, Xueyan | Yan, Liyi | Wan, Yuxiang | Zheng, Zian | Gu, Xiaohong | Dong, Fei | Yu, He | Wu, Liqun | Liu, Tiegang | Ma, Xueyan | Ma, Jiaju | Yan, Liyi | Wan, Yuxiang | Zheng, Zian | Zhen, Jianhua | Gu, Xiaohong | Dubois, Julie | Rodondi, Pierre-Yves | Edelhäuser, Friedrich | Schwartze, Sophia | Trapp, Barbara | Cysarz, Dirk
PMCID: PMC5498855
5.  Correlates of Exercise Self-Efficacy in a Randomized Trial of Mind-Body Exercise in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure 
Exercise self-efficacy is one of the strongest predictors of physical activity behavior. Prior literature suggests that tai chi, a mind-body exercise, may increase self-efficacy, however this is not well-studied. Little is known about the factors associated with development of exercise self-efficacy in a heart failure population.
We utilized data from a randomized controlled trial of 12 weeks group tai chi classes vs. education in patients with chronic heart failure (N=100). We used multivariable linear regression to explore possible correlates of change in exercise self-efficacy in the entire sample, and in the subgroup who received tai chi (N=50). Covariates included baseline quality-of-life, social support, functional parameters, physical activity, serum biomarkers, sociodemographics, and clinical HF parameters.
Baseline 6-minute walk (β= −0.0003;SE 0.0001;p=0.02) and fatigue score (β= 0.03;SE 0.01;p=0.004) were significantly associated with change in self-efficacy, with those in the lowest tertile for 6-minute walk and higher tertiles for fatigue score having the greatest change. Intervention group was highly significant, with self-efficacy significantly improved in the tai chi group compared to the education control over 12 weeks (β= 0.39;SE: 0.11;p< 0.001). In the tai chi group alone, lower baseline oxygen consumption (β= −0.05;SE 0.01;p=0.001), decreased mood (β= −0.01;SE 0.003;p=0.004), and higher catecholamine level (epinephrine β= 0.003;SE 0.001;p=0.005) were significantly associated with improvements in self-efficacy.
In this exploratory analysis, our initial findings support the concept that interventions like tai chi may be beneficial in improving exercise self-efficacy, especially in patients with heart failure who are deconditioned, with lower functional status and mood.
PMCID: PMC4846539  PMID: 26959498
Exercise; Self-efficacy; Heart failure
6.  Long-term Exercise After Pulmonary Rehabilitation (LEAP): design and rationale of a randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi 
Contemporary clinical trials  2015;45(Pt B):458-467.
Persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have reduced exercise capacity and levels of physical activity. Supervised, facility-based pulmonary rehabilitation programs improve exercise capacity and reduce dyspnea, but novel long-term strategies are needed to maintain the benefits gained. Mind-body modalities such as Tai Chi which combine aerobic activity, coordination of breathing, and cognitive techniques that alleviate the physical inactivity, dyspnea, and anxiety and depression that are the hallmarks of COPD are promising strategies.
We have designed a randomized controlled study to examine whether Tai Chi will maintain exercise capacity in persons with COPD who have recently completed a supervised pulmonary rehabilitation program, compared to standard care. The primary outcome is 6-minute walk test distance at 6 months. Secondary outcomes include health-related quality of life, dyspnea, mood, occurrence of acute exacerbations, engagement in physical activity, exercise self-efficacy, and exercise adherence. Simultaneously, we are conducting a pilot study of group walking. We will enroll 90 persons who will be randomized to one of 3 arms in a 2:2:1 ratio: Tai Chi, standard care, or group-based walking.
The Long-term Exercise After Pulmonary Rehabilitation (LEAP) study is a novel and clinically relevant trial. We will enroll a well-characterized cohort of persons with COPD and will comprehensively assess physiological and psychosocial outcomes. Results of this study will provide the evidence base for persons with COPD to engage in Tai Chi as a low-cost, long-term modality to sustain physical activity in persons who have completed a standard short-term pulmonary rehabilitation program.
PMCID: PMC4886504  PMID: 26362690
Pulmonary rehabilitation; exercise; physical activity; mind-body therapies; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
7.  Complementary and alternative medicine use among women during pregnancy and childbearing years 
Birth (Berkeley, Calif.)  2015;42(3):261-269.
Little is known regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use during pregnancy and the preconception period. Since half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended, understanding the patterns of CAM use among women of childbearing age has implications for fetal and maternal health.
Descriptive statistics were generated from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to estimate weighted prevalence and patterns of CAM use by women of childbearing age. Comparisons were made between pregnant and non-pregnant respondents.
In this sample of 10,002 women, 7% (n=727) were recently pregnant. Over one third of all the women used CAM during the previous year (34%/38%, pregnant/non-pregnant, respectively) and only half disclosed CAM use to conventional providers (50%/49%). In the adjusted model, taking multivitamins (OR=2.52 [2.22–2.86]) and moderate to heavy alcohol use (1.92 [1.53–2.41] were more likely associated with CAM use. The two most commonly used modalities were herbs (14%/17%) and yoga (13%/16%). The top reasons for CAM use were to improve general wellness or to prevent disease (33%/35%) and to treat back pain (16%/18%). When examining all pregnancy-related symptoms treated with CAM, no difference was found in the rates of CAM use between pregnant and non-pregnant users.
CAM use by women of childbearing age in the U.S is common, with over a third of the population using one or more therapies. However, only half disclosed their use to conventional providers despite limited evidence on safety and effectiveness. This study highlights the important need for further research in this area.
PMCID: PMC4537684  PMID: 26111221
preconception health; NHIS; CAM; pregnancy
8.  Design and methods of the Gentle Cardiac Rehabilitation Study – A behavioral study of tai chi exercise for patients not attending cardiac rehabilitation 
Contemporary clinical trials  2015;43:243-251.
Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs reduce overall and cardiovascular mortality in patients with a history of acute coronary events or revascularization procedures, but only 30 % of patients enroll in CR and attrition rates reach up to 60 %. Tai chi, a mind-body practice based on light/moderate aerobic exercise accompanied by meditative components could be a possible exercise option for patients who do not attend CR.
Sixty patients will be randomized to a “LITE ” condition (one tai chi session twice weekly for 12 weeks) or to a “PLUS” condition (one tai chi session 3 times weekly for 12 weeks, followed by maintenance classes 1–2 times weekly for an additional 12 weeks). Measurements will be conducted at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 9 months after enrollment. The primary outcome is to determine the feasibility, acceptability and safety of each dose. Secondary outcomes include estimates of effect size of each dose on accelerometry-assessed physical activity; the proportion of patients meeting current recommendations for physical activity; and measures of fitness, quality of life, body weight, and sleep. In addition, we will collect exploratory information on possible mediators (exercise self-efficacy, perceived social support, resilience, mindfulness, and depression).
Findings from this pilot study will provide preliminary indications about the usefulness of tai chi as an exercise option for patients not attending traditional CR programs. Results will also shed light on the possible mechanisms by which tai chi practice may improve overall physical activity among patients with atherosclerotic coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC4522348  PMID: 26115880
Tai chi; physical activity; fitness; cardiovascular prevention; mindfulness
9.  The Impact of Tai Chi Exercise on Self-Efficacy, Social Support, and Empowerment in Heart Failure: Insights from a Qualitative Sub-Study from a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(5):e0154678.
To qualitatively explore perceived physical and psychosocial effects and overall patient experience associated with a 12-week tai chi (TC) intervention and an education group in a clinical trial of patients with chronic heart failure (HF).
Subjects and Methods
We randomized 100 patients with chronic systolic HF (NYHA Class 1–3, ejection fraction≤40%) to a 12-week group TC program or an education control. At 12-weeks, semi-structured interviews were conducted on a random subset (n = 32; n = 17 in TC, n = 15 in control), audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Two independent reviewers extracted information using grounded-theory methods for emergent themes. We explored similarities and differences in themes/sub-themes between the groups, and examined qualitative association with changes from baseline to post-intervention in previously reported quantitative measures (e.g., Minnesota Living with HF, Cardiac Exercise Self Efficacy and Profile of Mood States).
The mean age (±SD) of participants was 68±9 years, baseline ejection fraction 29±7%, and median New York Heart Association class 2 HF. We idenitifed themes related to the patient’s experience of illness, perceptions of self, and relationship to others. Specific psychosocial and physical benefits were described. Common themes emerged from both groups including: social support and self-efficacy related to activity/exercise and diet. The tai chi group, however, also exhibited a more global empowerment and perceived control. Additional themes in TC included mindfulness/self-awareness, decreased stress reactivity, and renewed social role. These themes mirrored improvements in previously reported quantitative measures (quality-of-life, self-efficacy, and mood) in TC compared to control. Patients in TC also reported physical benefits (e.g., decreased pain, improved energy, endurance, flexibility).
Positive themes emerged from both groups, although there were qualitative differences in concepts of self-efficacy and perceived control between groups. Those in tai chi reported not only self efficacy and social support, but overall empowerment with additional gains such as internal locus of control, self-awareness and stress management. Future studies of mind-body exercise might further examine perceived control, self-efficacy, and locus-of-control as potential mediators of effect.
PMCID: PMC4866692  PMID: 27177041
10.  Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Expenditure on Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2015;76(7):e870-e876.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms affect 37% of US adults. These symptoms are often refractory to standard therapies, and patients may consequently opt for complementary and alternative medicine therapies (CAM). We sought to determine the demand for CAM by those with neuropsychiatric symptoms compared to those without neuropsychiatric symptoms as measured by out-of-pocket expenditure.
We compared CAM expenditure between US adults with and without neuropsychiatric symptoms (n = 23,393) using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. Symptoms included depression, anxiety, insomnia, attention deficits, headaches, excessive sleepiness, and memory loss. CAM was defined per guidelines from the National Institutes of Health as mind-body therapies, biological therapies, manipulation therapies, or alternative medical systems. Expenditure on CAM by those without neuropsychiatric symptoms was compared to those with neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Of the adults surveyed, 37% had ≥ 1 neuropsychiatric symptom and spent $ 14.8 billion out-of-pocket on CAM. Those with ≥ 1 neuropsychiatric symptom were more likely than those without neuropsychiatric symptoms to spend on CAM (27.4% vs 20.3%, P < .001). Likelihood to spend on CAM increased with number of symptoms (27.2% with ≥ 3 symptoms, P < .001). After adjustment was made for confounders using logistic regression, those with ≥ 1 neuropsychiatric symptom remained more likely to spend on CAM (odds ratio [OR] = 1.34; 95% Cl, 1.22–1.48), and the likelihood increased to 1.55 (95% Cl, 1.34–1.79) for ≥ 3 symptoms. Anxiety (OR = 1.40 [95% Cl, 1.22–1.60]) and excessive sleepiness (OR=1.36 [95% Cl, 1.21–1.54]) were the most closely associated with CAM expenditure.
Those with ≥ 1 neuropsychiatric symptom had disproportionately higher demand for CAM than those without symptoms. Research regarding safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of CAM is limited; therefore, future research should evaluate these issues given the tremendous demand for these treatments.
PMCID: PMC4729567  PMID: 26231014
11.  What Do We Really Know About the Safety of Tai Chi?: A Systematic Review of Adverse Event Reports in Randomized Trials 
Systematically review frequency and quality of adverse event (AE) reports in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of Tai Chi (TC).
Data Sources
Electronic searches of PubMed/MEDLINE and additional databases from inception through March 2013 of English-language RCTs. Search terms were tai chi, taiji, tai chi chuan. Data were independently extracted by two investigators.
Study Selection
We included all available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that were published in English and used Tai Chi as an intervention. Inclusion and exclusion of studies were reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Data Extraction
Eligible RCTs were categorized with respect to AE reporting: 1) No mention of protocols for monitoring AEs or reports of AEs; 2) Reports of AEs either with or without explicit protocols for monitoring AEs.
Data Synthesis
153 eligible RCTs were identified, most targeting older adults. Only 50 eligible trials (33%) included reporting of AEs, and of these, only 18 trials (12% overall) also reported an explicit AE monitoring protocol. Protocols varied with respect to rigor of systematic monitoring in both Tai Chi and comparison groups. Reported AEs were typically minor and expected, and primarily musculoskeletal related (e.g., knee and back pain); no intervention-related serious AEs were reported.
Tai Chi is unlikely to result in serious adverse events, but may be associated with minor musculoskeletal aches and pains. However, poor and inconsistent reporting of AEs greatly limits the conclusions that can be drawn regarding the safety of Tai Chi.
PMCID: PMC4499469  PMID: 24878398
Tai Chi; Safety; Adverse Event; Randomized Controlled Trial
12.  Patient-Provider Interactions Affect Symptoms in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Pilot Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0136855.
It is unclear whether the benefits that some patients derive from complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) are related to the therapies recommended or to the consultation process as some CIM provider visits are more involved than conventional medical visits. Many patients with gastrointestinal conditions seek out CIM therapies, and prior work has demonstrated that the quality of the patient-provider interaction can improve health outcomes in irritable bowel syndrome, however, the impact of this interaction on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is unknown. We aimed to assess the safety and feasibility of conducting a 2x2 factorial design study preliminarily exploring the impact of the patient-provider interaction, and the effect of an over-the-counter homeopathic product, Acidil, on symptoms and health-related quality of life in subjects with GERD.
24 subjects with GERD-related symptoms were randomized in a 2x2 factorial design to receive 1) either a standard visit based on an empathic conventional primary care evaluation or an expanded visit with questions modeled after a CIM consultation and 2) either Acidil or placebo for two weeks. Subjects completed a daily GERD symptom diary and additional measures of symptom severity and health-related quality of life.
There was no significant difference in GERD symptom severity between the Acidil and placebo groups from baseline to follow-up (p = 0.41), however, subjects who received the expanded visit were significantly more likely to report a 50% or greater improvement in symptom severity compared to subjects who received the standard visit (p = 0.01). Total consultation length, perceived empathy, and baseline beliefs in CIM were not associated with treatment outcomes.
An expanded patient-provider visit resulted in greater GERD symptom improvement than a standard empathic medical visit. CIM consultations may have enhanced placebo effects, and further studies to assess the active components of this visit-based intervention are warranted.
Trial Registration NCT01915173
PMCID: PMC4589338  PMID: 26422466
13.  Correlates of Complementary and Alternative Use in a Pediatric Tertiary Pain Center 
Academic pediatrics  2014;14(5):491-496.
To examine correlates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use in a pediatric population with chronic pain. To determine if CAM use is positively correlated with adaptive coping skills.
We examined patient data from children ages 7–18 (n=1175) with chronic pain who completed the intake assessment at the time of initial evaluation at Boston Children’s multidisciplinary Pain Treatment Service between 2003–2011. The intake assessment included validated measures of anxiety, depression, pain coping skills and functional disability. Parents were also asked whether their child had tried CAM modalities in the past. We used a multivariable logistic regression model to determine correlates of CAM use and a multivariable linear regression model to determine the relationship between bio-behavioral CAM (relaxation training, hypnosis, and biofeedback) and accommodative coping.
In our multivariable model, we found that female gender (OR 1.47, CI 1.07–2.01), parental education (OR 1.11 per year, CI 1.06–1.16), greater pain intensity (OR 1.06 per point on an 11-point numerical analog scale, CI 1.01–1.11), and more functional disability (OR 1.19 per 10 point increment on the Functional Disability Inventory, CI 1.06–1.34) were independently associated with CAM use. Bio-behavioral CAM was found to have a statistically significant correlation with accommodative coping skills (β 0.2 p-value .003).
In a pediatric chronic pain center, CAM users tended to have higher pain intensity, and greater functional disability. Exposure to bio-behavioral CAM techniques was associated with adaptive coping skills.
PMCID: PMC4174311  PMID: 25169161
Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Integrative Medicine; Pediatrics; Chronic Pain
14.  Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use by U.S. Adults with Gastrointestinal Conditions: Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey 
Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased over the past two decades, and a growing body of evidence suggests that some CAM modalities may be useful in addressing gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. However, the overall patterns of CAM use for GI conditions remains unknown. We sought to elucidate the prevalence and patterns of CAM use among U.S. adults with GI conditions.
We used the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n=34,525), a nationally representative survey of the civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. population, to estimate the prevalence of CAM use among adults with GI conditions (abdominal pain, acid reflux/heartburn, digestive allergy, liver condition, nausea and/or vomiting, stomach or intestinal illness, ulcer). We also examined the reasons for CAM use, perceived helpfulness, and disclosure of use to health care providers among individuals who specifically used CAM to address a GI condition. Prevalence estimates were weighted to reflect the complex sampling design of the survey.
Of 13,505 respondents with a GI condition in the past year, 42% (n=5629) used CAM in the past year and 3% (n=407) used at least one CAM modality to address a GI condition. The top 3 modalities among those using CAM to address GI conditions were herbs and supplements, mind body therapies, and manipulative therapies. Of those using CAM to address a GI condition, 47% used 3 or more CAM therapies, and over 80% felt that it was helpful in addressing a GI condition and was important in maintaining health and well-being. Respondents told their health care provider about use of these therapies 70% of the time.
CAM was used by 42% of respondents with a GI condition in the past year. A small proportion use CAM specifically to address their GI condition, but the majority who do find it helpful. The most commonly used modalities in this group are herbs and supplements, mind body, and manipulative therapies.
PMCID: PMC4304651  PMID: 25001257
15.  When Physicians Counsel About Stress: Results of a National Study 
JAMA internal medicine  2013;173(1):76-77.
PMCID: PMC4286362  PMID: 23403892
16.  The Impact of Tai Chi on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Summarize and critically evaluate research on the effects of Tai Chi on cognitive function in older adults.
Systematic review with meta-analysis.
Community and residential care.
Individuals aged 60 and over (with the exception of one study) with and without cognitive impairment.
Cognitive ability using a variety of neuropsychological testing.
Twenty eligible studies with a total of 2,553 participants were identified that met inclusion criteria for the systematic review: 11 of the 20 eligible studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 1 was a prospective non-randomized controlled study, 4 were prospective non-controlled observational studies, and 4 were cross-sectional studies. Overall quality of RCTs was modest, with 3 of 11 trials categorized as high risk of bias. Meta-analyses of outcomes related to executive function in RCTs of cognitively healthy adults indicated a large effect size when Tai Chi was compared to non-intervention controls (Hedge’s g=0.90; p=0.043) and moderate effect size when compared to exercise controls (Hedge’s g=0.51; p=0.003). Meta-analyses of outcomes related to global cognitive function in RCTs of cognitively impaired adults, ranging from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, showed smaller but statistically significant effects when Tai Chi was compared to both non-intervention controls (Hedge’s g=0.35; p=0.004) and other active interventions (Hedge’s g=0.30; p=0.002). Findings from non-randomized studies add further evidence that Tai Chi may positively impact these and other domains of cognitive function.
Tai Chi shows potential to enhance cognitive function in older adults, particularly in the realm of executive functioning and in those individuals without significant impairment. Larger and methodologically sound trials with longer follow-up periods are needed before more definitive conclusions can be drawn.
PMCID: PMC4055508  PMID: 24383523
Tai Chi; cognitive function; executive function; mind-body exercise
17.  Complexity-Based Measures Inform Effects of Tai Chi Training on Standing Postural Control: Cross-Sectional and Randomized Trial Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114731.
Diminished control of standing balance, traditionally indicated by greater postural sway magnitude and speed, is associated with falls in older adults. Tai Chi (TC) is a multisystem intervention that reduces fall risk, yet its impact on sway measures vary considerably. We hypothesized that TC improves the integrated function of multiple control systems influencing balance, quantifiable by the multi-scale “complexity” of postural sway fluctuations.
To evaluate both traditional and complexity-based measures of sway to characterize the short- and potential long-term effects of TC training on postural control and the relationships between sway measures and physical function in healthy older adults.
A cross-sectional comparison of standing postural sway in healthy TC-naïve and TC-expert (24.5±12 yrs experience) adults. TC-naïve participants then completed a 6-month, two-arm, wait-list randomized clinical trial of TC training. Postural sway was assessed before and after the training during standing on a force-plate with eyes-open (EO) and eyes-closed (EC). Anterior-posterior (AP) and medio-lateral (ML) sway speed, magnitude, and complexity (quantified by multiscale entropy) were calculated. Single-legged standing time and Timed-Up–and-Go tests characterized physical function.
At baseline, compared to TC-naïve adults (n = 60, age 64.5±7.5 yrs), TC-experts (n = 27, age 62.8±7.5 yrs) exhibited greater complexity of sway in the AP EC (P = 0.023), ML EO (P<0.001), and ML EC (P<0.001) conditions. Traditional measures of sway speed and magnitude were not significantly lower among TC-experts. Intention-to-treat analyses indicated no significant effects of short-term TC training; however, increases in AP EC and ML EC complexity amongst those randomized to TC were positively correlated with practice hours (P = 0.044, P = 0.018). Long- and short-term TC training were positively associated with physical function.
Multiscale entropy offers a complementary approach to traditional COP measures for characterizing sway during quiet standing, and may be more sensitive to the effects of TC in healthy adults.
Trial Registration NCT01340365
PMCID: PMC4262457  PMID: 25494333
18.  Meditation's impact on default mode network & hippocampus in mild cognitive impairment: a pilot study 
Neuroscience letters  2013;556:15-19.
Those with high baseline stress levels are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). While meditation may reduce stress and alter the hippocampus and default mode network (DMN), little is known about its impact in these populations. Our objective was to conduct a “proof of concept” trial to determine whether Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) would improve DMN connectivity and reduce hippocampal atrophy among adults with MCI. 14 adults with MCI were randomized to MBSR vs. usual care and underwent resting state fMRI at baseline and follow-up. Seed based functional connectivity was applied using posterior cingulate cortex as seed. Brain morphometry analyses were performed using FreeSurfer. The results showed that after the intervention, MBSR participants had increased functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and bilateral medial prefrontal cortex and left hippocampus compared to controls. In addition, MBSR participants had trends of less bilateral hippocampal volume atrophy than control participants. These preliminary results indicate that in adults with MCI, MBSR may have a positive impact on the regions of the brain most related to MCI and AD. Further research with larger sample sizes and longer-follow-up are needed to further investigate the results from this pilot study.
PMCID: PMC4022038  PMID: 24120430
Mild Cognitive Impairment; Alzheimer's Disease; fMRI; Meditation; Default Mode Network; Hippocampus
19.  Phone-Delivered Mindfulness Training for Patients with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial 
The reduction in adrenergic activity and anxiety associated with meditation may be beneficial for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
To determine the feasibility of a phone-delivered mindfulness intervention in patients with defibrillators and to obtain preliminary indications of efficacy on mindfulness and anxiety.
Clinically stable outpatients were randomized to a mindfulness intervention (8 weekly individual phone sessions) or to a scripted follow-up phone call. We used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Five Facets of Mindfulness to measure anxiety and mindfulness; and multivariate linear regression to estimate the intervention effect on pre-post intervention changes in these variables.
We enrolled 45 patients (23 mindfulness, 22 control; age 43–83; 30 % women). Retention was 93 %; attendance was 94 %. Mindfulness (beta = 3.31; p = .04) and anxiety (beta = − 1.15; p = .059) improved in the mindfulness group.
Mindfulness training can be effectively phone-delivered and may improve mindfulness and anxiety in cardiac defibrillator outpatients.
PMCID: PMC3758416  PMID: 23605175
mindfulness; anxiety; implantable cardioverter defibrillators; phone-delivery
20.  A Medical Student Elective Promoting Humanism, Communication Skills, Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Physician Self-Care: An Evaluation of the HEART Program 
Explore (New York, N.Y.)  2013;9(5):10.1016/j.explore.2013.06.003.
In 2002 AMSA created a fourth year medical student elective known as HEART that provided the opportunity for students to explore humanism in medicine, self-care, complementary and alternative medicine modalities, communication, activism, and community building in a four week immersion experience. The educational effects of this elective, and whether it has met its stated goals, are unknown.
The authors conducted a web-based, cross-sectional survey of the first eight cohorts of HEART graduates in 2010. Survey questions assessed respondents’ demographics and perspectives on the educational impact of the elective. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample and qualitative analyses were guided by grounded theory.
Of 168 eligible alumni, 122 (73%), completed the survey. The majority were female (70%), age ≤35 (77%), and trained in primary care specialties (66%). Half were attendings in practice. The majority of respondents felt the elective taught professionalism (89%) and communication skills (92%) well or very well. The majority highly agreed that the elective helped them better cope with stress during residency training (80%), taught them self-care skills (75%), and improved their ability to empathize and connect with patients (71%). Qualitative analysis of the personal and professional impact of the elective identified twelve common themes with self-discovery, self-care, and collegial development/community most frequently cited.
The majority of HEART graduates endorse learning important skills and benefiting from the experience both personally and professionally. Aspects of the HEART curriculum may help training programs teach professionalism and improve trainee well-being.
PMCID: PMC3876728  PMID: 24021470
21.  Tai chi mind-body exercise in patients with COPD: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15:337.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressively debilitating condition that is prevalent in the US and worldwide. Patients suffer from progressive dyspnea and exercise intolerance. Physical exercise is beneficial, but conventional pulmonary rehabilitation programs are underutilized. There remains a need for novel interventions that improve symptoms, quality-of-life, and functional capacity. Tai chi is an increasingly popular mind-body exercise that includes physical exercise, breathing training, mindful awareness, and stress management--components that are essential to the self-management of COPD. There are, however, limited data on the effectiveness of tai chi as a therapeutic intervention in this population.
The Primary Aims are to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and feasibility of a 12-week tai chi program for patients with COPD. We utilize a randomized controlled trial design, with participants assigned in a 2:1 ratio to either a group tai chi program (N = 63) or a time/attention-matched education control (N = 31). Our primary outcomes are COPD-specific quality-of-life and exercise capacity. Secondary outcomes include dyspnea, mood, functional status, self-efficacy, and lung function. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is done in a subset of patients (N = 50). To explore optimal training duration, a subgroup of patients in tai chi are randomly assigned to complete an additional 12 weeks training (total 24 weeks) (Exploratory Aim 1). To explore the impact of a simplified seated intervention including only a subset of tai chi’s training components, a third randomly assigned group (N = 31) receives a 12- week mind-body breathing program (N = 31) (Exploratory Aim 2).
Results of the BEAM study (Breathing, Education, Awareness, Movement) will provide preliminary evidence regarding the value of tai chi for improving quality of life and exercise capacity in patients with COPD, including information regarding optimal duration. They will also inform the feasibility and potential benefit of an alternative mind-body breathing intervention, and provide insight regarding how isolated mind-body exercise components contribute to the overall effects of tai chi. Should the results be positive, tai chi and related mind-body practices may offer a novel exercise option that is potentially accessible to a large proportion of patients with COPD.
Trial registration
This trial is registered in Clinical, ID number NCT01551953. Date of Registration March 1 2012.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-337) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4158042  PMID: 25168853
Exercise; mind-body therapies; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
23.  Tai chi in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction 
Although exercise is an important component of heart failure management, optimal regimens, particularly in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), are uncertain. Tai chi (TC) is a mind-body exercise that may have potential benefits but has not been studied in this population.
We randomized sixteen patients with HFPEF to either 12 weeks TC or aerobic exercise . Assessments included peak oxygen uptake, 6-minute walk, quality-of-life, echocardiography, mood, and self-efficacy at baseline and 12 weeks. Cardiorespiratory measures during exercise were obtained to characterize training intensities.
Baseline characteristics were as follows: age 66±12 years, E/A ratio 1.3± 0.7 , E/e’ ratio 15.9± 4.8. Adherence overall was excellent (89% attendance). Change in peak oxygen uptake was similar between groups after 12-weeks, but 6-minute walk distance increased more after TC (+69 ±46 m vs. +10±31 m, p=0.02). While both groups improved Minnesota-Living-with-Heart-Failure score and self-efficacy, POMS-depression scores improved more with TC (-1.7±2.8 vs. +1.6±3, p=0.05). Cardiorespiratory assessment during TC showed lower oxygen uptake (4.3 ml/kg/min vs. 9.4 ml/kg/min, p<0.01), respiratory rate and heart rate
TC is feasible and safe in HFPEF. Therepeutic endpoints appear similar with TC relative to aerobic exercise despite a lower aerobic training workload.
PMCID: PMC3546234  PMID: 23057654
24.  A Systems Biology Approach to Studying Tai Chi, Physiological Complexity and Healthy Aging: Design and Rationale of a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial 
Contemporary clinical trials  2012;34(1):21-34.
Aging is typically associated with progressive multi-system impairment that leads to decreased physical and cognitive function and reduced adaptability to stress. Due to its capacity to characterize complex dynamics within and between physiological systems, the emerging field of complex systems biology and its array of quantitative tools show great promise for improving our understanding of aging, monitoring senescence, and providing biomarkers for evaluating novel interventions, including promising mind-body exercises, that treat age-related disease and promote healthy aging.
Material and Methods
An ongoing, two-arm randomized clinical trial is evaluating the potential of Tai Chi mind-body exercise to attenuate age-related loss of complexity. A total of 60 Tai Chi–naïve healthy older adults (aged 50–79) are being randomized to either six months of Tai Chi training (n=30), or to a waitlist control receiving unaltered usual medical care (n=30). Our primary outcomes are complexity-based measures of heart rate, standing postural sway and gait stride interval dynamics assessed at 3 and 6 months. Multiscale entropy and detrended fluctuation analysis are used as entropy- and fractal-based measures of complexity, respectively. Secondary outcomes include measures of physical and psychological function and tests of physiological adaptability also assessed at 3 and 6 months.
Results of this study may lead to novel biomarkers that help us monitor and understand the physiological processes of aging and explore the potential benefits of Tai Chi and related mind-body exercises for healthy aging.
PMCID: PMC3638751  PMID: 23026349
cardiovascular health; postural control; gait; mind-body exercise; senescence; prevention
25.  Ambient Temperature and Biomarkers of Heart Failure: A Repeated Measures Analysis 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2012;120(8):1083-1087.
Background: Extreme temperatures have been associated with hospitalization and death among individuals with heart failure, but few studies have explored the underlying mechanisms.
Objectives: We hypothesized that outdoor temperature in the Boston, Massachusetts, area (1- to 4-day moving averages) would be associated with higher levels of biomarkers of inflammation and myocyte injury in a repeated-measures study of individuals with stable heart failure.
Methods: We analyzed data from a completed clinical trial that randomized 100 patients to 12 weeks of tai chi classes or to time-matched education control. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), C-reactive protein (CRP), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were measured at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Endothelin-1 was measured at baseline and 12 weeks. We used fixed effects models to evaluate associations with measures of temperature that were adjusted for time-varying covariates.
Results: Higher apparent temperature was associated with higher levels of BNP beginning with 2-day moving averages and reached statistical significance for 3- and 4-day moving averages. CRP results followed a similar pattern but were delayed by 1 day. A 5°C change in 3- and 4-day moving averages of apparent temperature was associated with 11.3% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 22.5; p = 0.03) and 11.4% (95% CI: 1.2, 22.5; p = 0.03) higher BNP. A 5°C change in the 4-day moving average of apparent temperature was associated with 21.6% (95% CI: 2.5, 44.2; p = 0.03) higher CRP. No clear associations with TNF or endothelin-1 were observed.
Conclusions: Among patients undergoing treatment for heart failure, we observed positive associations between temperature and both BNP and CRP—predictors of heart failure prognosis and severity.
PMCID: PMC3440076  PMID: 22588803
biomarkers; climate variability; heart failure; outdoor air; susceptibility

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