- •Randomized controlled trials of mind-body interventions (MBIs) demonstrate small-to-moderate positive effects on heart failure (HF) patients' outcomes.
- •Relaxation exercises improved psychological status, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) of HF patients.
- •MBIs seem to be a safe and cost-effective way to manage HF symptoms and improve QOL.
The effects of mind-body interventions (MBIs) (eg, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation) for individuals with heart failure (HF) have not been systematically evaluated.
Methods and Results
We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of MBIs in HF. We extracted participant characteristics, MBI procedure, outcomes assessed, and main results of English-language RCTs before October 2016. We identified 24 RCTs (n = 1314 participants) of 9 MBI types: Tai Chi (n = 7), yoga (n = 4), relaxation (n = 4), meditation (n = 2), acupuncture (n = 2), biofeedback (n = 2), stress management (n = 1), Pilates (n = 1), and reflexology (n = 1). Most (n = 22, 95.8%) reported small-to-moderate improvements in quality of life (14/14 studies), exercise capacity (8/9 studies), depression (5/5 studies), anxiety and fatigue (4/4 studies), blood pressure (3/5 studies), heart rate (5/6 studies), heart rate variability (7/9 studies), and B-type natriuretic peptide (3/4 studies). Studies ranged from 4 minutes to 26 weeks and group sizes ranged from 8 to 65 patients per study arm.
Although wide variability exists in the types and delivery, RCTs of MBIs have demonstrated small-to-moderate positive effects on HF patients' objective and subjective outcomes. Future research should examine the mechanisms by which different MBIs exert their effects.
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Published online: September 19, 2017
Accepted: September 15, 2017
Received in revised form: August 8, 2017
Received: May 10, 2017
Funding: There is no funding source to report.
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