Latin dance and Qigong/Tai Chi effects on physical activity and body composition in breast cancer survivors: A pilot study

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Breast cancer survivors (BCS), particularly Latina BCS, experience weight gain and reduced physical activity (PA) post-treatment increasing the risk for recurrence. There is a lack of evidence on the intensity and type of PA needed to engage cultural subgroups and improve clinical outcomes. This study developed and piloted two non-traditional PA interventions among a diverse sample of BCS. Methods: Twenty BCS (65% Latina; age 25–75) participated in a 2-arm parallel group-randomized pilot study to test the effects of an 8-week Latin dance and Qigong/Tai Chi intervention on PA and body composition. A seven-day pedometer protocol was used to measure steps/week and a bioelectric impedence scale was used to assess BMI and %body fat. T-tests were used to examine preliminary outcomes across both interventions and within intervention arms. Results: There were no significant changes in steps/week, BMI, or %body fat across or in each separate intervention. A small effect size for increase in steps/day was found among participants in the Qigong/Tai Chi arm (0.10) and low-to-moderate effect sizes for reductions in % body fat overall (0.36), and separately for participants in Latin dance (0.26) and Qigong/Tai Chi (0.46). Conclusion: Latin dance and Qigong/Tai Chi are engaging and acceptable PA modalities that are promising for improving PA and body fat among diverse, high-risk BCS. Our findings highlight the need to continue to reach and engage high-risk BCS, including Latina survivors, using novel, culturally-sensitive PA interventions. Future studies should extend and more rigorously test these novel approaches to improving outcomes associated with recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101554
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Body composition
  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Latin dance
  • Physical activity
  • Qigong
  • Tai chi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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