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J Cancer Surviv. 2018 Apr;12(2):256-267. doi: 10.1007/s11764-017-0665-5. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Tai Chi and Qigong for cancer-related symptoms and quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd floor, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. pwayne@partners.org.
2
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
3
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd floor, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
4
Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
6
College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aims to summarize and critically evaluate the effects of Tai Chi and Qigong (TCQ) mind-body exercises on symptoms and quality of life (QOL) in cancer survivors.

METHODS:

A systematic search in four electronic databases targeted randomized and non-randomized clinical studies evaluating TCQ for fatigue, sleep difficulty, depression, pain, and QOL in cancer patients, published through August 2016. Meta-analysis was used to estimate effect sizes (ES, Hedges' g) and publication bias for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methodological bias in RCTs was assessed.

RESULTS:

Our search identified 22 studies, including 15 RCTs that evaluated 1283 participants in total, 75% women. RCTs evaluated breast (n = 7), prostate (n = 2), lymphoma (n = 1), lung (n = 1), or combined (n = 4) cancers. RCT comparison groups included active intervention (n = 7), usual care (n = 5), or both (n = 3). Duration of TCQ training ranged from 3 to 12 weeks. Methodological bias was low in 12 studies and high in 3 studies. TCQ was associated with significant improvement in fatigue (ES = - 0.53, p < 0.001), sleep difficulty (ES = - 0.49, p = 0.018), depression (ES = - 0.27, p = 0.001), and overall QOL (ES = 0.33, p = 0.004); a statistically non-significant trend was observed for pain (ES = - 0.38, p = 0.136). Random effects models were used for meta-analysis based on Q test and I 2 criteria. Funnel plots suggest some degree of publication bias. Findings in non-randomized studies largely paralleled meta-analysis results.

CONCLUSIONS:

Larger and methodologically sound trials with longer follow-up periods and appropriate comparison groups are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn, and cancer- and symptom-specific recommendations can be made.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS:

TCQ shows promise in addressing cancer-related symptoms and QOL in cancer survivors.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Fatigue; Meta-analysis; Qigong; Quality of life; Tai Chi

PMID:
29222705
PMCID:
PMC5958892
[Available on 2019-04-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s11764-017-0665-5

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