Objective: To investigate the effects of Qi exercise on maternal outcomes during pregnancy.
Design: A prospective, two-group, quasi-experimental, pretest/post test design was used.
Setting: A convenience sample was recruited from one women's wellness center and one women's health clinic in Seoul, Korea.
Participants: Participants were healthy pregnant women at more than 18 weeks gestation. A total of 70 women were included in the final analysis.
Methods: Qi exercise was carried out for 90 minutes, twice a week for 12 weeks. Study outcomes were measured by the Intrapersonal Communication Questionnaire (Talking to Your Baby), Zung's Self-rating Depression Scale (ZSDS), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Pregnancy Mild Discomfort Index. Analysis of covariance was used to compare outcomes between groups, after adjusting for baseline scores.
Results: The Qi exercise group had higher post test maternal/fetal interaction and lower maternal depressive symptoms and physical discomfort scores than the control group. There was no difference in anxiety.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that the holistic approach of Qi exercise may positively influence maternal/fetal interaction and mother's health. Whether these beneficial effects can be sustained throughout pregnancy requites additional research.