Qigong exercise for the treatment of fibromyalgia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):641-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0347. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Objectives: The study objective was to summarize and critically assess the evidence available from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of qigong exercise for patients with fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods: Thirteen (13) databases were searched up to February 2011. RCTs testing the effects of qigong exercise among patients with FM were included. For each included study, data were extracted and study quality was evaluated using the Jadad Scale.

Results: Four (4) RCTs met the inclusion criteria. One (1) RCT demonstrated beneficial effects of qigong exercise for FM. Two (2) RCTs testing the effectiveness of qigong as a part of a treatment package compared with group education or daily activities failed to show favorable effects of qigong exercise for adult patients with FM. Another RCT comparing qigong with aerobic exercise among children with FM showed effects in favor of aerobic exercise.

Conclusions: Given methodological flaws in the included studies, it is still too early to draw a conclusion about the effectiveness of qigong exercise for FM. Further rigorously designed RCTs are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care