The Effects of Tai Chi and Qigong Exercise on Psychological Status in Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author: Xuan Liu1, Ru Li1, Jiabao Cui1, Fang Liu1, Lee Smith2, Xiaorong Chen1, Debao Zhang1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Faculty of Physical Education, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China. <sup>2</sup> The Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Conference/Journal: Front Psychol
Date published: 2021 Nov 24
Other: Volume ID: 12 , Pages: 746975 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.746975. , Word Count: 224

Background: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the effectiveness of Tai Chi and Qigong exercise on adolescents' symptoms of depression and anxiety, and psychological status based on clinical evidences, and to calculate the pooled results using meta-analysis. Methods: A systematic search using seven English and three Chinese databases was initiated to identify randomized controlled trials (RCT) and non-randomized comparison studies (NRS) assessing the effect of Tai Chi and Qigong exercise on psychological status among adolescents. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to determine the pooled effect of the intervention. Study quality was evaluated using a Checklist to Evaluate a Report of a Non-pharmacological Trial (CLEAR-NPT) designed for non-pharmacological trials. Results: Four RCTs and six NRS were identified, including 1,244 adolescents. The results suggested a potential beneficial effect of Tai chi and Qigong exercise on reducing anxiety (SMD = 0.386, 95 CI% [0.233, 0.538]) and depression (SMD = 1.937 [95 CI%, 1.392-2.546]) symptoms, and reducing cortisol level (SMD = 0.621 [95 CI%, 0.18-1.062]) in adolescents. Conversely, non-significant effects were found for stress, mood, and self-esteem. Conclusions: The findings of this review suggest Qigong appears to be an effective therapeutic modality to improve psychological well-being in adolescents. Hope future studies will have rigorously designed, well-controlled randomized trials with large sample sizes in order to confirm these findings.

Keywords: adolescents; mental; mind-body exercise; psychological well-being; review.

PMID: 34899487 PMCID: PMC8652254 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.746975