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Published Online: 7 February 2014

Effectiveness of T'ai Chi and Qigong on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Publication: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 20, Issue Number 2


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of Chinese traditional exercise such as t'ai chi and qigong (TCQ) on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: All prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials, published in English or Chinese and involving the use of TCQ by patients with COPD, were searched in 10 electronic databases from their respective inceptions to July 2012. The methodological quality of all studies was assessed using the Jadad score. The selection of studies, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed independently by two raters.
Results: In the results, 10 trials met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. The meta-analysis demonstrated that compared with no exercise, TCQ had significant effects on 6-minute walk distance, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), predicted FEV1 percentage, and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire score. There were no significant differences in all outcomes between TCQ and other exercise training except 6-minute walk distance.
Conclusions: In conclusion, TCQ might be beneficial with respect to physical performance, lung function, remission of dyspnea, and quality of life in patients with COPD; however, caution is needed to draw a firm conclusion because of the low methodological quality of the included trials.

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Published In

cover image The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 20Issue Number 2February 2014
Pages: 79 - 86
PubMed: 23961940


Published online: 7 February 2014
Published in print: February 2014
Published ahead of print: 20 August 2013


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Meng Ding
College of Physical Education, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.
Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.
Wei Zhang
Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.
Kejian Li
Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.
Xianhai Chen
Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.


Address correspondence to:Wei Zhang, MDAffiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine42 Wenhuaxi RoadJinan 250011China
E-mail: [email protected]

Authors' Contributions

Meng Ding and Wei Zhang designed this review. Meng Ding and Kejian Li performed the article searches, data extractions, and meta-analysis. Meng Ding, Wei Zhang, and Xianhai Chen interpreted the results.

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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