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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 168784, 5 pages
Research Article

The Treatment of Depressed Chinese Americans Using Qigong in a Health Care Setting: A Pilot Study

1Benson Henry Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, One Bowdoin Square, 6/F, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3South Cove Community Health Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Received 30 January 2013; Accepted 25 March 2013

Academic Editor: Tobias Esch

Copyright © 2013 Albert Yeung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This pilot study examined the feasibility and efficacy of providing Qigong treatment in a health center to Chinese Americans with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods. Fourteen Chinese Americans with MDD were enrolled, and they received a 12-week Qigong intervention. The key outcome measurement was the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17); the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) and -Improvement (CGI-I), the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire, Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF), and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) were also administered. Positive response was defined as a decrease of 50% or more on the HAM-D17, and remission was defined as HAM-D17 ≤ 7. Patients' outcome measurements were compared before and after the Qigong intervention. Results. Participants ( ) were 64% female, with a mean age of 53 (±14). A 71% of participants completed the intervention. The Qigong intervention resulted in a positive treatment-response rate of 60% and a remission rate of 40% and statistically significant improvement, as measured by the HAM-D17, CGI-S, CGI-I, Q-LES-Q-SF, and the family support subscale of the MSPSS. Conclusions. The Qigong intervention provided at a health care setting for the treatment of primary care patients with MDD is feasible. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted.