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Tai Chi for Knee Osteoarthritis: Short, Medium and Long Terms

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August 25, 2017 -
Contracted by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), RAND Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center developed a systematic review to assess the evidence for the efficacy of various interventions, including Tai Chi, for improving clinical outcomes in adults with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

The research team included randomized controlled trials conducted in adults 18 years or over diagnosed with OA of the knee, comparing any of the interventions of interest with placebo (sham) or any other intervention of interest that reported a clinical outcome (including pain, function, and quality of life). They also included single-arm and prospective observational studies that analyzed the effects of weight loss in individuals with OA of the knee on a clinical outcome.

Standard methods were used for data abstraction and analysis, assessment of study quality, and assessment of the quality of the evidence, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Methods Guide. Findings were stratified according to duration of interventions and outcomes: short term (4 - 12 weeks), medium term (12 - 26 weeks), and long term (> 26 weeks).

Specifically for Tai Chi, the research team found it shows significant beneficial effects on pain and function with short-term and medium-term outcomes. But they found insufficient evidence to assess the long-term effects from Tai Chi.




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