Effects of the Prolong Life With Nine Turn-Method Qigong on Fatigue, Insomnia, Anxiety, and Gastrointestinal Disorders in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Author: Fangfang Xie#1,2, Yanli You#3, Yuanjia Gu2, Jiatuo Xu2, Fei Yao#1,2
1 Shanghai Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 200071, Shanghai, China.
2 Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 201203, 1200 Cailun Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai 201203, China, Shanghai, China.
3 ChangHai Hospital, Naval Medical University, 200071, Shanghai, China.
Conference/Journal: JMIR Res Protoc
Date published: 2024 Feb 26
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Pages: e53347 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2196/53347. , Word Count: 425

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating multisystem disorder that can lead to various pathophysiological abnormalities and symptoms, including insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, and anxiety. Due to the side effects of currently available drugs, there is a growing need for safe and effective nondrug therapies. The Prolong Life With Nine Turn (PLWNT) Qigong method is a system of mind-body exercise with restorative benefits that can alleviate the clinical symptoms of CFS and impart a significant inhibitory effect. Various studies have proven the treatment efficacy of PLWNT; however, the impact on insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, and anxiety in patients with CFS has not yet been investigated.

This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the PLWNT method in terms of its effects on fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with CFS.

We will conduct a randomized, analyst-blinded, parallel-controlled trial with a 12-week intervention and 8-week follow-up. A total of 208 patients of age 20-60 years will be recruited. The patients will be randomly divided into a PLWNT Qigong exercise group (PLWNT Group) and a control group treated with cognitive behavioral therapy at a ratio of 1:1. Participants from the treatment groups will be taught by a highly qualified professor at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine once a week and will be supervised via web during the remaining 6 days at home, over 12 consecutive weeks. The primary outcome will be the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory 20, while the secondary outcomes include the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, functional magnetic resonance imaging, gut microbiota, and peripheral blood.

The study was approved by the ethics committee of Shanghai Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in March 2022 (Ethics Approval Number 2022SHL-KY-05). Recruitment started in July 2022. The intervention is scheduled to be completed in December 2024, and data collection will be completed by the end of January 2025. Over the 3-year recruitment period, 208 participants will be recruited. Data management is still in progress; therefore, data analysis has yet to be performed.

This randomized trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the PLWNT method in relieving fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with CFS. If proven effective, it will provide a promising alternative intervention for patients with CFS.

Trial registration:
China Clinical Trials Registry ChiCTR2200061229; https://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.html?proj=162803.

International registered report identifier (irrid):

Keywords: CBT; CFS; Qigong; chronic fatigue syndrome; cognitive behavioral therapy; efficacy; fMRI; fatigue; gastrointestinal; gut microbiota; insomnia; prolong life with nine turn method Qigong; randomized trial; safety; study protocol.

PMID: 38407950 DOI: 10.2196/53347