Feasibility of Mind-Body Intervention to Promote Wellness in Injured Soldiers


Name: Sara Breckridge-Sproat

Rank: COL

Organization: The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

Performance Site: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Year Published: 2009

Abstract Status: Final


Purpose: The purpose was to assess the feasibility of Qigong practice in wounded, ill and injured military Service members who had been deployed; effects on stress, sleep, and somatic symptoms; and to evaluate participants’ experience.   

Design:  Wounded, ill and injured military Service members experience significant stress and are at risk for developing chronic conditions. Wellness practices such as Qigong may positively impact their ability to engage in successful rehabilitation.  A single-group, pre-and post-test, mixed-method pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility of offering 20 Integral Qigong classes in a 10-week program to wounded, ill and injured military Service members in rehabilitation at a Military Treatment Facility. 

Methods: Feasibility outcomes included levels of attendance, attrition, dropouts, and home practice. Efficacy outcomes included stress, sleep, and somatic symptoms.  Pre- and post-questionnaires and exit interviews were administered using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Patient Health Questionnaire -15 (PHQ-15), and a Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ). Content Analysis methodology was used to analyze the interview data. 

Sample: Twenty male and six female outpatient military personnel receiving care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for deployment-related injury were enrolled. Their ages ranged from 20-53 years (M=35, SD=9.3). 

Analysis: Means, standard deviations and ranges for attendance, missed classes and home practice were calculated. Paired t-tests were used to compare mean scores at baseline to post intervention for those who completed post-questionnaires. Associations between attendance rates and outcome scores were analyzed.  

Findings:  Participants attended an average of 8.14 classes (SD= 4.9); average engagement was 5.7 (SD 3.5) weeks. Reasons for dropout included discharge (n=5), schedule conflict (n=1) and unknown (n=5). Seven participants completed post-questionnaires. Effect sizes were moderate for stress (.455), sleep (.426), and somatic symptoms (.619). Participants reported improved sleep, and decreased stress and anxiety. 

Implications for Military Nursing: This research supports the benefits of Qigong practice in reducing stress and related symptoms. Nurses can provide education about Qigong skills and referrals to integrative practices, which may help, facilitate rehabilitation goals.


Final Report is available on NTRL at: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013103...