Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Adult; *Breathing Exercises; Cocaine; Cocaine-Related Disorders; Cues; Depression; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Treatment Outcome
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction
OBJECTIVES: This pilot study examined the feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and determined the effect sizes of external qigong therapy (EQT) in reducing cue-elicited cocaine craving and associated symptoms among recently abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals.
METHODS: This study randomized 101 CD subjects to either a real EQT (n=51) or sham EQT control (n=50) group. Subjects underwent a baseline assessment and a weekly cue-exposure session for 2 weeks. Total EQT or sham treatments ranged from 4 to 6 sessions in 2 weeks.
RESULTS: EQT-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.