Using telehealth to deliver Qi Gong and Tai Chi programs: A mixed-methods systematic review on feasibility, acceptability and participant engagement factors

Author: Junsheng L Teo1, Stephen R Bird2, Xiaoqiu Wang3, Zhen Zheng4
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. <sup>2</sup> School of Health and Biostatistics, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia. <sup>3</sup> Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. <sup>4</sup> School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Arch Gerontol Geriatr
Date published: 2023 Sep 17
Other: Volume ID: 117 , Pages: 105203 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2023.105203. , Word Count: 270

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digitally delivered exercise classes to promote physical activity has become widespread amongst various populations as an alternative to in-person activities.

To examine the feasibility, acceptability, and participant engagement variables to delivering Qi Gong and Tai Chi programs through telehealth interventions.

Ten databases (Seven English databases; three Chinese databases) were searched between October and November 2021. Studies published in English or Chinese, or having translations in English or Chinese, were included. Titles and abstracts of identified articles were screened, relevant studies were then retrieved for full-text screening. Study selection, assessment of methodological quality, data extraction, data transformation, and data synthesis were completed following a convergent integrated approach to mixed method systematic reviews.

Seven articles were included in review. Digital literacy of both participants and providers was found to be a significant hurdle towards digital program implementation. There were no notable issues pertaining to access to an internet connection, participant safety, program costs, or connectivity. A major theme for sustaining program engagement was found to be individual perceived relevance for intervention involvement. Online social involvement was noted to be both a facilitator for participant acceptability and engagement. Overall, participants expressed satisfaction with the use of telehealth, while providers expressed acceptability concerns regarding quality of care.

It is recommended that planned measures be taken prior to program commencement to decrease digital literacy requirements while also including a participatory approach to encourage uptake. During the program, provision of technical support alongside appropriate social-environmental engagement facilitators would promote sustained adherence.

Keywords: Internet-based intervention; Qigong; Systematic review; Tai ji; Telehealth.

PMID: 37741135 DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2023.105203