Researchers in Hong Kong performed a randomized controlled trial to investigate the psychosocial influences of Qigong on elderly with depression (Tsang et al., 2006). A total of 82 participants with depression were involved in the study. The intervention group received Qigong training for 16 weeks. The control group joined a newspaper reading program at the same time.
The study found that after 8 weeks of Qigong training, the patients had significant improvement in various aspects including mood, self-efficacy and personal wellbeing (Tsang et al., 2006). Other progress included the physical and social domains of self-concept. Upon finishing 16 weeks of the training, the improvement of the Qigong group included the daily task domain of the self-concept.
These findings indicate that regular Qigong training may be beneficial for healing depression and improving personal wellbeing among the elderly patients with chronic diseases and depression (Tsang et al., 2006). Further studies are needed to confirm the result and find out the mechanisms.
Tsang, H. W., Fung, K. M., et al. (2006) Effect of a qigong exercise programme on elderly with depression. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 21, 890-897.