A pilot, randomized controlled study of tai chi with passive and active controls in the treatment of depressed chinese americans

Albert S. Yeung, Run Feng, Daniel Ju Hyung Kim, Peter M. Wayne, Gloria Y. Yeh, Lee Baer, Othelia E. Lee, John W. Denninger, Herbert Benson, Gregory L. Fricchione, Jonathan E. Alpert, Maurizio Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This pilot, randomized clinical trial investigates the effectiveness of tai chi as the primary treatment for Chinese Americans with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: 67 Chinese Americans with DSM-IV MDD and no treatment for depression were recruited between March 2012 and April 2013 and randomized (1:1:1) into a tai chi intervention, an education program, or a waitlisted group for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17); positive response for this outcome was defined as a decrease in total score of 50% or more, and remission was defined as HDRS17 ≤ 7. Results: Participants (N = 67) were 72% female with a mean age of 54 ± 13 years. No serious adverse events were reported. After the end of the 12-week intervention, response rates were 25%, 21%, and 56%, and remission rates were 10%, 21%, and 50% for the waitlisted, education, and tai chi intervention groups, respectively. The tai chi group showed improved treatment response when compared to both the waitlisted group (odds ratio [OR] = 2.11; 95% CI, 1.01- 4.46) and to the education group (OR = 8.90; 95% CI, 1.17-67.70). Tai chi intervention showed significantly improved remission rate over the waitlisted group (OR = 3.01; 95% CI, 1.25-7.10), and a trend of improved remission compared to the education group (OR = 4.40; 95% CI, 0.78-24.17). Conclusions: As the primary treatment, tai chi improved treatment outcomes for Chinese Americans with MDD over both passive and active control groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e522-e528
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume78
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Yeung, A. S., Feng, R., Kim, D. J. H., Wayne, P. M., Yeh, G. Y., Baer, L., Lee, O. E., Denninger, J. W., Benson, H., Fricchione, G. L., Alpert, J. E., & Fava, M. (2017). A pilot, randomized controlled study of tai chi with passive and active controls in the treatment of depressed chinese americans. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 78(5), e522-e528. https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.16m10772