Learning to breathe with Tai Chi online - qualitative data from a randomized controlled feasibility study of patients with cystic fibrosis

Patricia Ronan, Awais Mian, Siobhan Carr, Susan Madge, Ava Lorenc, Nicola Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Tai Chi (TC), a gentle exercise, incorporates meditative movement and respiratory control. The high risk of cross infection for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) requires close management in healthcare settings, limiting group activities such as TC. A mixed-methods randomized controlled feasibility study compared teaching TC over the internet with in-person, face to face TC tuition provided to CF patients. This article explores qualitative data from patients and TC instructors on their attitudes, acceptability and engagement with the two modes of TC delivery.
Methods: Qualitative data from CF patients (>6 years) were collected using Skype interviews/focus groups and written feedback. TC instructors provided weekly written feedback, and took part in interviews/ focus groups at the end of the study. Patients and instructors interviews explored their experiences and engagement with TC online delivery and ability to practice.
Results: Irrespective of the type of TC delivery, all CF participants interviewed (n=28) practiced between lessons and most wanted to continue TC. Teenagers were more likely to miss TC appointments. Internet delivery was well received by both patients and TC instructors. Two patients reported difficulties with screen size/camera and one with internet connectivity.
Conclusion: Both face-to-face and internet delivery of Tai Chi lessons were equally well received and perceived as beneficial. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, CF patients self-isolating may find this intervention provides important support, therefore the programme was made available on YouTube in April 2020 and linked to the websites of the CF charities funding the research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101229
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Early online date31 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Internet delivery
  • Tai chi
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Qualitative
  • Breathing
  • Social isolation
  • Remote learning
  • Telemedicine
  • Feasibility study


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