Is additional Qigong effective in controlling type II diabetes, as compared to routine medical care alone?
Date of publication of the randomized controlled trial: August 2011
Design
Randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Participants
41 participants with age range of 30 to 71 years (61% female) with elevated blood glucose (fasting blood glucose ≥ 5.6 mmol/L and 2 hours post-glucose load ≥ 7.8 mmol/L). They were not on diabetes medication; had no health or injury problems that would prevent them from participating ; were able to attend the intervention sessions three times per week for 12 weeks, had a BMI value <45 , and were living in Brisbane.
Intervention
12-week Qigong intervention, with three group sessions per week, duration progressively increased from 1 to 1.5 hours during the program.
Comparator
Comparison: 12-week Qigong intervention versus routine medical care alone.
Major Outcomes
Outcome 1: Change in glycated hemoglobin (%) from baseline to week 12;
Outcome 2: Change in fasting blood glucose (mmol/L) from baseline to week 12;
Outcome 3: Change in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (mmol/L) from baseline to week 12.
Settings
This trial was conducted in an outpatient setting.
Comparison    Qigong plus routine medical care versus routine medical care alone
Main Results
Compared to routine medical care alone, additional Qigong did not show significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin level (mean difference (MD): -0.04%, 95% CI: -0.30 to 0.22), fasting blood glucose (MD: -0.29mmol/L, 95% CI: -0.69 to 0.11) and HDL cholesterol levels (MD: 0.02 mmol/L, 95%CI: -0.10 to 0.14).
Comparison: Qigong plus routine medical care versus routine medical care alone
Outcomes (units) No. of studies (Total number of participants) Mean (SD)/ No. of participants Heterogeneity test (I2) MD (95% CI) Overall quality of evidence*
Intervention Comparator
1 (%) 1(41) 0.10 (0.54)/ 20 0.14 (0.22)/ 21 Not applicable because there is only 1 trial. -0.04 (-0.30 to 0.22) Moderate
2 (mmol/L) 1(41) -0.47 (0.65)/ 18 -0.18 (0.56)/ 20 Not applicable because there is only 1 trial. -0.29 (-0.69 to 0.11) Moderate
3 (mmol/L) 1(41) 0.11 (0.20)/ 18 0.09 (0.16)/ 21 Not applicable because there is only 1 trial. 0.02 (-0.10 to 0.14) Moderate
Keys: SD = standard deviation; MD = mean difference; CI = confidence interval.
Comparison    Qigong plus routine medical care versus routine medical care alone
Main Results
Compared to routine medical care alone, additional Qigong did not show significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin level (mean difference (MD): -0.04%, 95% CI: -0.30 to 0.22), fasting blood glucose (MD: -0.29mmol/L, 95% CI: -0.69 to 0.11) and HDL cholesterol levels (MD: 0.02 mmol/L, 95%CI: -0.10 to 0.14).
Comparison: Qigong plus routine medical care versus routine medical care alone
Outcomes (units) 1 (%) 2 (mmol/L) 3 (mmol/L)
No. of studies (Total number of participants) 1(41) 1(41) 1(41)
Mean (SD)/ No. of participants Intervention 0.10 (0.54)/ 20 -0.47 (0.65)/ 18 0.11 (0.20)/ 18
Comparator 0.14 (0.22)/ 21 -0.18 (0.56)/ 20 0.09 (0.16)/ 21
MD (95% CI) -0.04 (-0.30 to 0.22) -0.29 (-0.69 to 0.11) 0.02 (-0.10 to 0.14)
Overall quality of evidence* Moderate Moderate Moderate
Keys: SD = standard deviation; MD = mean difference; CI = confidence interval.
Conclusion
Benefits
Compared to routine medical care alone, additional Qigong was not effective in reducing glycated hemoglobin level, fasting blood glucose and HDL cholesterol levels. For all outcomes, the overall quality of evidence is moderate. Further research is fairly likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
Harms
No adverse events were reported in the trial.
Link to Original Article
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21767722
The synopsis is based on the following article:
Liu X, Miller YD, Burton NW, Chang JH, Brown WJ. Qigong mind-body therapy and diabetes control. A randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2011 Aug;41(2):152-8.


* Interpretation of quality assessment results:
• Very low: Further research is most likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Low: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Moderate: Further research is fairly likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• High: Further research is unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Very high: Further research is most unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.

Details of assessment method can be found at Chung VC, Wu XY, Ziea ET, Ng BF, Wong SY, Wu JC. Assessing internal validity of clinical evidence on effectiveness of CHinese and integrative medicine: Proposed framework for a CHinese and Integrative Medicine Evidence RAting System (CHIMERAS). European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2015 Aug 31;7(4):332-41.