A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mindfulness-Based (Baduanjin) Exercise for Alleviating Musculoskeletal Pain and Improving Sleep Quality in People with Chronic Diseases

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jan 25;15(2):206. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020206.


Objective: we performed the first systematic review with meta-analyses of the existing studies that examined mindfulness-based Baduanjin exercise for its therapeutic effects for individuals with musculoskeletal pain or insomnia.

Methods: Both English- (PubMed, Web of Science, Elsevier, and Google Scholar) and Chinese-language (CNKI and Wangfang) electronic databases were used to search relevant articles. We used a modified PEDro scale to evaluate risk of bias across studies selected. All eligible RCTS were considered for meta-analysis. The standardized mean difference was calculated for the pooled effects to determine the magnitude of the Baduanjin intervention effect. For the moderator analysis, we performed subgroup meta-analysis for categorical variables and meta-regression for continuous variables.

Results: The aggregated result has shown a significant benefit in favour of Baduanjin at alleviating musculoskeletal pain (SMD = -0.88, 95% CI -1.02 to -0.74, p < 0.001, I² = 10.29%) and improving overall sleep quality (SMD = -0.48, 95% CI -0.95 to -0.01, p = 004, I² = 84.42%).

Conclusions: Mindfulness-based Baduanjin exercise may be effective for alleviating musculoskeletal pain and improving overall sleep quality in people with chronic illness. Large, well-designed RCTs are needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Baduanjin Qigong; mind-body exercise; pain; sleep quality.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / therapy*
  • Qigong / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*