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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Oct;98(40):e17118. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017118.

Tai Chi for patients with mild cognitive impairment: A protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Department of Pain Medicine, Shenzhen Nanshan People's Hospital, Guangdong Medical University, Shenzhen.
Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Epidemiology and Translational Research in Intensive Care, Rochester, MN.



Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the cognitive changes of normal aging and early dementia. Tai Chi (TC) may be particularly beneficial to patients with MCI due to its whole-body coordination characteristics. This systematic review protocol aims to outline the methods that will be used to assess the comparative effectiveness and safety of TC for MCI through a systematic review and meta-analysis.


A systematic review will identify and evaluate randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effects and safety of TC compared to a placebo, conventional treatment, and no treatment on cognitive function in individuals with MCI. Studies from databases of MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, Global Health, Cochrane Library, and Scopus from January 1990 to March 2019 reported in English will be searched. Two independent reviewers will screen the studies for inclusion with the eligibility criteria and extract data. Risk of bias of individual studies will be assessed in line with Cochrane risk of bias tool. The overall quality of cumulative evidence will be assessed using selected Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations criteria. Statistics will be used for heterogeneity assessment, sensitivity analysis, data synthesis, generating funnel plots, and subgroup analysis. Meta-analysis will be performed, if sufficiently homogeneous studies are found. A narrative synthesis will be conducted, grouping studies by exposure and outcome definitions, and describing any differences by subgroups.


This study will provide practical and targeted evidence in investigating the impact of TC exercise for individuals with MCI.


The findings of our study will provide updated evidence to determine whether TC is an effective intervention to patients with MCI.


International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) number CRD42019125104.

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