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J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Apr;22(4):336-42. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0356. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of T'ai Chi and Qigong Use in the United States: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey.

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1 Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen , Essen, Germany .
2 Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney , Sydney, Australia .
3 Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA.



This study examined the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of t'ai chi and qigong use in the U.S. general population.


Cross-sectional survey.


Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (nā€‰=ā€‰34,525). Weighted frequencies were used to analyze lifetime and 12-month prevalence and patterns of use. Independent predictors of practice were analyzed by using logistic regression models. Analyzes were conducted in 2015.


The lifetime and 12-month prevalence of t'ai chi/qigong practice were 3.1% and 1.2%, respectively. The 12-month prevalence was associated with age older than 30 years; being African American, Asian, or other ethnic origin; living in the West; being college educated and single; and being a light to heavy alcohol consumer. Almost 39% of users attended formal classes. T'ai chi/qigong was practiced for wellness/disease prevention and to improve energy, immune function, athletic performance, or memory/concentration. Stress, arthritis, and joint problems were the most frequent specific health problems for practice.


Despite an only marginal increase of t'ai chi/qigong practice in the United States over the past 10 years, the proportion of minorities among practitioners has increased significantly. Gaps between clinical application and research are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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