Tai Chi and Qigong Practices for Chronic Heart Failure

January 27, 2021 - A study jointly conducted by Sweden and China evaluated existing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for evidence of Tai Chi and Qigong rehabilitation effects for chronic heart failure. The results were published by Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in December 2020.

Both English and Chinese databases were searched from their inception to October 23, 2019. RCTs were included if they compared the addition of Tai Chi and Qigong into routine managements to routine managements alone or compared Tai Chi and Qigong to general exercise, with routine managements as a consistent cointervention in both groups. Data were screened and extracted independently using predesigned forms. RCT quality was assessed with the Cochrane tool. The primary outcomes were peak oxygen consumption, 6-minute walking distance, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire.

A total of 33 RCTs with 2,465 patients were included in the systematic review. Compared to the routine managements alone, adding Tai Chi and Qigong improved peak oxygen consumption, 6-minute walking distance, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. Compared to general exercise, superior improvements were found in the Tai Chi and Qigong group; they were significant in Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, but not in peak oxygen consumption�or 6-minute walking distance. Evidence was also found safety and high adherence in the group with Tai Chi and Qigong.

Considering that there are low costs, multiple physical benefits, and no equipment required, Tai Chi and Qigong are a promising rehabilitation therapy, as an adjunct to routine pharmacotherapies or as an alternative to conventional exercises, especially in home-based settings.

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