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Effects of Mindfulness Training Combined with Tai Chi in Patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Published: July 14th, 2023



1Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
* These authors contributed equally

When studying exercise for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), achieving mind-body exercise is essential. This study proposes a protocol for mindfulness training combined with Tai Chi to achieve mind-body exercise.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is one of the most prevalent chronic complications of diabetes. One of its crucial therapy approaches is mind-body exercise. Recently, various exercise modalities, including stepping, resistance, aerobics, balance, and whole-body vibration, were investigated to construct the most suitable form of exercise for patients with DPN. The purpose of this study is to describe a standard protocol for mindfulness training combined with Tai Chi. The convenience sampling method was used to select 90 patients with DPN who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria from three communities. The three communities were randomly divided into the control group (CG), the Tai Chi group (TCG), and the mindfulness training combined with the Tai Chi group (MTCG). The CG was given routine health education guidance once a month, a total of three times. Based on the CG, the TCG practiced Tai Chi three times; the MTCG received mindfulness training combined with Tai Chi exercise a week for a total of 12 weeks. Before the intervention and 12 weeks after the intervention, the clinical symptoms, neurological function, attention awareness level, pain, and quality of life of the subjects were evaluated by Toronto Clinical Scoring System (TCSS), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Visual analog scale (VAS), Diabetes Specificity Quality of life Scale (DSQL) and tumor necrosis factor-α. Overall, the addition of mindfulness training to Tai Chi effectively enhances the exercise effects of Tai Chi. Therefore, mindfulness training combined with Tai Chi is worthy of promotion and application.

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a serious health concern globally, affecting millions of people worldwide1. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reveals that the prevalence of DM could increase up to 12.2% by 20452. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) accounts for about 90% of DM2. Patients with T2DM, particularly those who struggle to control their blood glucose levels, are likely to suffer from adverse complications, including macrovascular disease, microangiopathy, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN)3. DPN is a prevalent microvascular complication, with at least 50% of DM patie....

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This study strictly adheres to the principle of ethical respect, beneficence, and justice. There were 30 subjects in each group, a total of 90 cases. This subject was approved by the ethics committee of the Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2021KL-040). Informed consent was obtained from patients included in this study.

1. Study subjects

  1. Select 3 communities in Chengdu using the convenience sampling method.
  2. Recruit patients w.......

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In this study, 7 individuals failed to complete the trial. All necessary data were gathered from 83 individuals who completed the trial. There were 38 women and 45 men. The age ranged from 44 to 75 years old, with an average age of (60.57 + 8.76). DM might last anywhere between 4 and 22 years, with an average of 14.10 + 4.85 years. DPN lasted anywhere from one and fifteen years, with a mean of 5.76 + 2.78 years. The general data of the three groups did not differ significantly (p>0.05).


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Many previous studies have reported how to apply Tai Chi to treat and rehabilitate chronic diseases40,41. Although Tai Chi has shown positive effects in the treatment and rehabilitation of chronic diseases, truly achieving physical and mental exercise is vital to the enhanced effects of Tai Chi. This study combined Tai Chi with mindfulness training, which successfully improved the practice effectiveness of Tai Chi and indeed achieved physical and mental movement........

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This study was supported by a grant from the Science and Technology Development Fund of the Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (20HL01) and the Sichuan Province cadre health research project (2023-505). This study was supported by a grant from the Sichuan Provincial Cadre Health Department (Chuan Gan Yan 2023-505).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
SPSS 24.0  IBM version 24.0  Statistical analysis

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