Group Qigong for adolescent inpatients with anorexia nervosa: Incentives and barriers

Juliette Gueguen, Marie-Aude Piot, Massimiliano Orri, Andrea Gutierre, Jocelyne Le Moan, Sylvie Berthoz, Bruno Falissard, Nathalie Godart
PLoS ONE. 2017-02-02; 12(2): e0170885
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170885

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1. PLoS One. 2017 Feb 2;12(2):e0170885. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170885.
eCollection 2017.

Group Qigong for Adolescent Inpatients with Anorexia Nervosa: Incentives and

Gueguen J(1)(2), Piot MA(2)(3), Orri M(1)(2), Gutierre A(3), Le Moan J(3),
Berthoz S(1)(3), Falissard B(1)(2), Godart N(1)(3).

Author information:
(1)Université Paris-Saclay, Univ. Paris-Sud, UVSQ, CESP, INSERM, Paris, France.
(2)Univ. Paris-Descartes, Paris, France.
(3)Psychiatry Unit, Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris, France.

BACKGROUND: Qigong is a mind-body intervention focusing on interoceptive
awareness that appears to be a promising approach in anorexia nervosa (AN). In
2008, as part of our multidimensional treatment program for adolescent
inpatients with AN, we began a weekly qigong workshop that turned out to be
popular among our adolescent patients. Moreover psychiatrists perceived clinical
benefits that deserved further exploration.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: A qualitative study therefore sought to obtain a deeper
understanding of how young patients with severe AN experience qigong and to
determine the incentives and barriers to adherence to qigong, to understanding
its meaning, and to applying it in other contexts. Data were collected through
16 individual semi-structured face-to-face interviews and analyzed with the
interpretative phenomenological analysis method. Eleven themes emerged from the
analysis, categorized in 3 superordinate themes describing the incentives and
barriers related to the patients themselves (individual dimension), to others
(relational dimension), and to the setting (organizational dimension).
Individual dimensions associated with AN (such as excessive exercise and
mind-body cleavage) may curb adherence, whereas relational and organizational
dimensions appear to provide incentives to join the activity in the first place
but may also limit its post-discharge continuation. Once barriers are overcome,
patients reported positive effects: satisfaction associated with relaxation and
with the experience of mind-body integration.
CONCLUSIONS: Qigong appears to be an interesting therapeutic tool that may
potentiate psychotherapy and contribute to the recovery process of patients with
AN. Further analysis of the best time window for initiating qigong and of its
place in overall management might help to overcome some of the barriers, limit
the risks, and maximize its benefits.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170885
PMCID: PMC5289494
PMID: 28152083 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement: The authors have declared that no competing
interests exist.

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