VA and Top Research Orgs Release Evidence Map of the Effect of Tai Chi on Health
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August 19, 2016 -
The VA (U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs) offices in Los Angeles teamed up with UCLA and RAND Corporation to
create a comprehensive map that visually describes the volume and focus of Tai Chi research reporting health outcomes.
The map was published in July, 2016.
The map is based on 107 systematic reviews.
The research team searched 11 electronic databases from inception to February
2014, screened reviews of reviews, and consulted with topic experts. They used a
bubble plot to graphically display clinical topics, literature size, number of
reviews, and a broad estimate of effectiveness.
Two thirds of the reviews were published in
the last five years. The topics with the largest number of published randomized
controlled trials (RCTs) were general health benefits (51 RCTs), psychological
well-being (37 RCTs), interventions for older adults (31 RCTs), balance (27
RCTs), hypertension (18 RCTs), fall prevention (15 RCTs), and cognitive
performance (11 RCTs).
The map identified a number of areas with
evidence of a potentially positive treatment effect on patient outcomes,
Chi for hypertension, fall
prevention outside of institutions, cognitive performance, osteoarthritis,
depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pain, balance confidence, and
muscle strength. However, identified reviews cautioned that firm conclusions
cannot be drawn due to methodological limitations in the original studies and/or
an insufficient number of existing research studies.
Conclusions: Tai Chi has
been applied in diverse clinical areas, and for a number of these, systematic
reviews have indicated promising results. The evidence map provides a visual
overview of Tai
Chi research volume and