Effectiveness of Tai Chi on Balance Improvement in Type 2 Diabetes Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Aging Phys Act. 2020 Mar 3;28(5):787-797. doi: 10.1123/japa.2019-0242. Print 2020 Oct 1.


Balance impairments are a relevant problem in patients with diabetes, and interventions to manage this issue represent a public health need. This study reviewed the literature about the effectiveness of Tai Chi on balance improvement in patients with type 2 diabetes. Springerlink, MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane CENTRAL databases were screened. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials assessing balance in patients with type 2 diabetes enrolled in a Tai Chi program were considered eligible. Four studies were included in qualitative synthesis and in quantitative analysis (three randomized controlled trials and one pretest-posttest quasi-experimental study). Evidence supporting Tai Chi to improve balance in patients with type 2 diabetes was found (effect size: 0.52; 95% confidence interval [0.20, 0.84]); however, the analysis relied on a small number of studies, which raises concerns about the risk of bias. In conclusion, the results support the benefits of Tai Chi intervention to improve balance in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: coordination; exercise; fall; hyperglycemia; prevention.