Effectiveness of Tai Chi on quality of life, depressive symptoms and physical function among community-dwelling older adults with chronic disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Int J Nurs Stud. 2020 Nov:111:103737. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103737. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Abstract

Background: With a rapid increase in aging population and prevalence of chronic diseases worldwide, older adults are seen facing more physical and psychological burdens, affecting their quality of life (QoL). Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese mind-body physical activity, appeals to many older adults and has been extensively studied. However, the effectiveness of Tai Chi on QoL, depressive symptoms and physical function on community-dwelling older adults remains vague.

Objectives: To synthesise and evaluate effectiveness of Tai Chi on QoL, depressive symptoms and physical function among community-dwelling older adults with chronic disease.

Methods: Searches were performed across seven databases systematically (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, CINAHL, Scopus, ProQuest, CNKI). Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs), written in English or Chinese were included. All eligible studies were screened with risk of bias examined by two independent reviewers. Meta-analyses were conducted using RevMan 5.3 software while narrative syntheses were performed where meta-analysis was inappropriate and heterogeneity was present.

Results: A total of 3416 records were generated and 13 RCTs were eligible for inclusion. Meta-analysis reported statistically significant small effect size favouring Tai Chi on QoL and depressive symptoms. No statistically significant differences were seen for mobility and endurance of physical function. Majority had high heterogeneity hence findings should be interpreted carefully.

Conclusion: Tai Chi was found to have favourable effects on QoL and depressive symptoms of older adults with chronic disease which can act as a complement to disease management. However, future research can be improved to explore theoretical framework and include high-quality studies with larger sample sizes.

Keywords: Chronic disease; Community-dwelling; Depressive symptoms; Meta-analysis; Older adult; Physical function; Quality of life; Systematic review; Tai Chi.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / therapy
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Quality of Life
  • Tai Ji*