The therapeutic effects of qigong in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the stable stage: a meta-analysis

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Sep 4;19(1):239. doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2639-9.


Objectives: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one global disease. Lung function gradually declines. Medication does not fully reverse the airflow limitation. Qigong's role in COPD rehabilitation has been assessed. We aimed to assess the effects of Qigong practised by COPD patients.

Methods: Eligible articles were obtained through a systematic search. The databased were search on October 8, 2017, and the date range of the searches in the electronic databases had no upper limit. The Cochrane risk-of-bias tool was used to evaluate the quality of the eligible studies. Mean differences with 95% confidence intervals were utilized to analyse the results.

Results: Ten included studies contained 993 participants. Statistical improvements occurred in the 6-min walk distance (6MWD) (MD, 30.57 m; 95% CI, 19.61-41.53 m; P < 0.00001); forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (MD, 0.32 L; 95% CI, 0.09-0.56 L; P < 0.001); forced vital capacity rate of 1 s (FEV1/FVC) (MD, 2.66%; 95% CI, 1.32-2.26%; P = 0.0001); forced expiratory volume in 1 s/predicted (FEV1/pre) (MD, 6.04; CI, 2.58-9.5; P = 0.006); Monitored Functional Task Evaluation (MD, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.78-0.99; P < 0.00001); COPD Assessment Test for exercise (MD, - 5.54; 95% CI, - 9.49 to - 1.59; P = 0.006); Short Form-36 Health Quality Survey (SF-36)-General Health (MD, 5.22; 95% CI, 3.65-6.80; P < 0.00001); and Short Form-36 Health Quality Survey (SF-36)-Mental Health (MD, - 1.21; 95% CI, - 2.75 to 0.33; P = 0.12).

Conclusions: In this meta-analysis of RCTs between ten included studies, we found that Qigong can improve COPD patients in lung function, exercise capacity and quality of life who were in the stable stage.

Keywords: 6-minute walk distance; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Lung function; Qigong.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Qigong*
  • Quality of Life
  • Walk Test
  • Walking / physiology