Systematic Review of Health benefits of Qigong & Tai Chi for Cancer Patients
March 15, 2014 -
Cancer is a leading cause of
death worldwide. Mind-body interventions are widely used by cancer patients to
reduce symptoms and cope better with disease- and treatment-related symptoms. In
the last decade, many clinical controlled trials of Qigong/Tai Chi as a cancer
treatment have emerged. Two universities in China, Guangzhou Medical University
and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, conducted a joint study to
quantitatively evaluate the effects of Qigong/Tai Chi on the health-related
outcomes of cancer patients.
Five databases (Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, the Cochrane
Library, and the CAJ Full-text Database) were searched until June 30, 2013.
Randomized controlled trials of Qigong/Tai Chi as a treatment intervention for
cancer patients were considered for inclusion. The primary outcome for this
review was changes in quality of life and other physical and psychological
effects in cancer patients. The secondary outcome for this review was adverse
events of the Qigong/Tai Chi intervention.
A total of 13 randomized controlled trials with 592
subjects were included in this review. Nine Randomized controlled trials
involving 499 subjects provided enough data to generate pooled estimates of
effect size for health-related outcomes.
This study found that Qigong/Tai Chi had positive
effects on the cancer-specific quality of life, fatigue, immune function and
cortisol level of cancer patients. However, these findings need to be
interpreted cautiously due to the limited number of studies identified and high
risk of bias in included trials. Further rigorous trials are needed to explore
possible therapeutic effects of Qigong/Tai Chi on cancer patients.
The study is published in the journal
Complementary Therapies in Medicine in February, 2014.