Lack of efficacy of Tai Chi in improving quality of life in breast cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(8):3715-20. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.8.3715.


Background: It is controversial whether Tai Chi (TC) benefits breast cancer survivors (BCS) on quality of life (QoL). We therefore undertook a meta-analysis to assess this question.

Materials and methods: A computerized search through electronic databases was performed to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The primary outcome was QoL, while secondary outcomes included body mass index (BMI), bone mineral density (BMD), and muscle strength.

Results: Five RCTs involving 407 patients were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled standardized mean differences were 0.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.35-0.54) for physical well- being, 0.03 (95%CI: -0.18-0.25) for social/family well-being, 0.24 (95%CI: 0.02-0.45) for emotional well-being, 0.23 (95%CI: -0.03-0.49) for functional well-being, and 0.09 (95%CI: -0.19-0.36) for additional concerns. TC failed to improve BMI, BMD, and muscle strength.

Conclusions: There is currently lack of sufficient evidence to support TC improving QoL and other important clinical endpoints.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Tai Ji / methods*
  • Tai Ji / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome