A pilot study of Qigong for reducing cocaine craving early in recovery.


OBJECTIVES This pilot study examined the feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and determined the effect sizes of external qigong therapy (EQT) in reducing cue-elicited cocaine craving and associated symptoms among recently abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals. METHODS This study randomized 101 CD subjects to either a real EQT (n=51) or sham EQT control (n=50) group. Subjects underwent a baseline assessment and a weekly cue-exposure session for 2 weeks. Total EQT or sham treatments ranged from 4 to 6 sessions in 2 weeks. RESULTS EQT-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.

DOI: 10.1089/acm.2012.0052

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@article{Smelson2013APS, title={A pilot study of Qigong for reducing cocaine craving early in recovery.}, author={David Smelson and Kevin Chen and Douglas M. Ziedonis and Ken Andes and Amanda Lennox and Lanora Callahan and St{\'e}phanie Rodrigues and David Eisenberg}, journal={Journal of alternative and complementary medicine}, year={2013}, volume={19 2}, pages={97-101} }