Qigong as a Novel Intervention for Soldiers with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


Name: Terri Yost

Rank: MAJ

Organization: University of Virginia

Performance Site: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Lakeview Virginia NeuroCare, Charlottsville, VA

Year Published: 2010

Abstract Status: Final


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has evolved into the signature injury for service members returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Treatment and rehabilitation of these soldiers has proven to be challenging, leading the military medical community to seek new and innovative approaches to the long-term management of TBI. One approach may be a form of qigong that involves focusing of internal energy towards balance and wellness through the use of slow, deliberate movements, diaphragmatic breathing, and meditation. Previous studies have indicated that qigong may be effective in reducing stress and improving other quality of life indicators.  

The purpose of this proposed study is to explore the interest in and utility of an 8-week internal qigong intervention with service members diagnosed with mild TBI. The investigator will use a hermeneutic, phenomenological qualitative analysis and phenomenological methods to explore in depth interview data collected from a sample of service members who have suffered a mild TBI and are receiving outpatient neuro-rehabilitation at Virginia NeuroCare (VANC), Inc., a core member of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Central Virginia. 

The long-term goal for this program of research is to inform future non-pharmacologic research in the area of TBI regarding insight related to interest, effects of, and adherence to a qigong intervention from the soldier’s perspective. The specific aims for the proposed study are to (1) obtain descriptions of and analyze service members’ experiences living with mild TBI; (2) obtain descriptions of and analyze service members’ experiences learning and practicing a standardized intervention of qigong during their neuro-rehabilitation; (3) obtain descriptions of and analyze service members’ impressions of the qigong intervention one month following the intervention; and (4) chronicle the observations of the qigong master during the intervention period regarding the abilities, degree/level of learning, and level of interest demonstrated by the service members. 

Findings from this study will provide insight into the recovery process and may give nurses an opportunity to organize and implement interventions such as qigong as a supportive care therapy for military members who have experienced TBI.


Final Report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013101...