Tai chi for patients with atherosclerotic coronary heart disease

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Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs reduce overall and cardiovascular mortality in patients with a history of acute coronary events or revascularization procedures, but only 30 % of patients enroll in CR and attrition rates reach up to 60 %. Tai chi, a mind-body practice based on light/moderate aerobic exercise accompanied by meditative components could be a possible exercise option for patients who do not attend CR.

METHODS: /Design 
Sixty patients will be randomized to a "LITE " condition (one tai chi session twice weekly for 12weeks) or to a "PLUS" condition (one tai chi session 3 times weekly for 12weeks, followed by maintenance classes 1-2 times weekly for an additional 12weeks). Measurements will be conducted at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 9months after enrollment. The primary outcome is to determine the feasibility, acceptability and safety of each dose. Secondary outcomes include estimates of effect size of each dose on accelerometry-assessed physical activity; the proportion of patients meeting current recommendations for physical activity; and measures of fitness, quality of life, body weight, and sleep. In addition, we will collect exploratory information on possible mediators (exercise self-efficacy, perceived social support, resilience, mindfulness, and depression).
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