Effectiveness of Tai Chi for health promotion for adults with health conditions: a scoping review of Meta-analyses

Disabil Rehabil. 2021 Oct;43(21):2978-2989. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1725916. Epub 2020 Feb 18.


Purpose: To complete a scoping review of meta-analyses summarizing evidence of the effectiveness of Tai Chi for adults with health conditions.

Materials and methods: Meta-analyses were retrieved from Medline, Embase, AMED, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PsychINFO, Web of Science, PubMed Health and the Cochrane Library from database inception to early September 2018. Multistage deduplication and screening processes identified full-length, unique, peer-reviewed meta-analyses. Two people independently appraised 42 meta-analyses based on the GRADE system and organized results into 3 appendices subsequently collated into heterogeneous, statistically significant, and statistically insignificant tables.

Results: "High" and "moderate" quality evidence indicates that Tai Chi can significantly benefit adults with health conditions including cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, depression, heart failure, hypertension, low back pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson's Disease and stroke. Outcomes included significant improvements in activities of daily living, balance, exercise capacity, gait, mastery, mental health, mobility, motor function, participation in daily life, physical function, quality of life, range of motion, and strength; with reductions in blood pressure, body mass index, depression, disability, dyspnea, falls, fatigue, pain, stiffness, and waist circumference.

Conclusions: Healthcare providers now have information to advise clients with health conditions on the effectiveness of Tai Chi for overall health promotion. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONTai Chi is a form of safe, enjoyable, light-to-moderate aerobic physical activity for adults that is inexpensive to implement in diverse community settings.Adults with health conditions require physical activity for prevention of secondary impairments and over-all health promotion.This scoping review of meta-analyses elucidates "high" and "moderate" quality evidence of the effectiveness of Tai Chi in improving important outcomes for people with numerous health conditions.This information can be useful for healthcare providers who wish to recommend effective community-based physical activity to clients they are serving.

Keywords: PubMed; Tai Ji; adults; health promotion; meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Tai Ji*