Tai Chi Helpful to People with Multiple Chronic Conditions
October 19, 2015 -
Many middle-aged and older
persons have more than one chronic condition. Thus, it is important to
synthesize the effectiveness of interventions across several comorbidities. Two
Canadian universities, University of British Columbia and University of Toronto,
collaborated on a systematic review to summarize current evidence regarding the
effectiveness of Tai Chi in individuals with four common chronic conditions:
cancer, osteoarthritis (OA), heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD).
In their study, 4 databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL
and SPORTDiscus) were searched for original articles. Two reviewers
independently screened the titles and abstracts and then conducted full-text
reviews, quality assessment and finally data abstraction. 33 studies met the
inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses were performed on disease-specific symptoms,
physiological outcomes and physical performance of each chronic condition.
Subgroup analyses on disease-specific symptoms were conducted by categorizing
studies into subsets based on the type of comparison groups.
Meta-analyses showed that Tai Chi improved or showed a
tendency to improve physical performance outcomes, including 6-min walking
distance and knee extensor strength, in most or all four chronic conditions. Tai
Chi also improved disease-specific symptoms of pain and stiffness in OA.
The results demonstrated a favorable effect or tendency
of Tai Chi to improve physical performance and showed that this type of exercise
could be performed by individuals with different chronic conditions, including
COPD, HF and OA.
Their results are reported by
British journal of sports medicine in
its September, 2015 issue.