Dose-Response Association of Tai Chi and Cognition among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 19;18(6):3179. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18063179.


Previous studies indicated that Tai Chi might be an effective way to improve or prevent cognitive impairments in older populations. However, existing research does not provide clear recommendations about the optimal dose of Tai Chi practice, which is the most effective in improving cognitive function in older adults. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the dose-response relationship between Tai Chi and cognition in community-dwelling older adults. A total of 16 studies with 1121 subjects were included in this study. Meta-regression analyses of Tai Chi duration (Tai Chi session duration, Tai Chi practice duration per week, study duration, and Tai Chi practice duration for the entire study) on the study effect size (ES) were performed to examine the dose-response association of Tai Chi and cognition. The results showed that there was a positive effect of Tai Chi on cognitive function, but there were no statistically significant dose duration effects on cognition. The findings suggest that Tai Chi has beneficial effects on cognitive function, but a longer duration was not associated with larger effects. In order to establish evidence-based clinical interventions using Tai Chi, future research should clearly demonstrate intervention protocol, particularly the style and intensity of Tai Chi.

Keywords: PRISMA statement guideline; Tai Chi; cognitive function; cognitive impairment; dose–response relationship; exercise; meta-analysis; older adults.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Tai Ji*
  • Time Factors