The impact of Tai Chi on cognitive rehabilitation of elder adults with mild cognitive impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Author: Li Wei1, Qianwen Chai2, Jin Chen1, Qin Wang1, Yuting Bao3, Weiwei Xu1, Enting Ma1
Author Information:
1 Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.
2 Tianjin Medical University General Hospital Airport Site, Tianjin, China.
3 Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China.
Conference/Journal: Disabil Rehabil
Date published: 2020 Oct 12
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1830311. , Word Count: 297

To systematically research the impact of Tai Chi intervention on cognitive rehabilitation of elderly adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Materials and methods:
Both English and Chinese databases were systematically searched from inception to December 2019: MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, SinoMed database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Traditional Chinese Medicine clinical evidence database, Wanfang knowledge database, Chinese Science and Technology Periodical Database. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies that involved older adults with MCI, Tai Chi intervention, and cognitive rehabilitation outcomes were included. The meta-analysis was conducted and reported according to PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO registration number CRD42019124925).

Twelve studies were included. For the meta-analysis, Tai Chi exercise had a large beneficial effect on global cognitive ability and long-term delayed recall ability from the memory domain. In terms of executive ability, Tai Chi intervention had a moderate and significant effect on improving patients' executive function.

The results suggest a Tai Chi intervention lasting at least 12 weeks with a frequency of three times per week and 30-60 min per session. Tai Chi shows promise as an alternative mind-body intervention for MCI rehabilitation among elder patients. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION From a global perspective, Tai Chi may be an effective mind-body exercise for cognitive rehabilitation among elder patients with MCI, which is not restricted by the condition of equipment, manpower, and venue. This review suggests an intervention that includes a warm-up, exercise, and cool-down period and lasts at least 12 weeks with a frequency of three times per week and 30-60 min per session. It is also recommended to choose suitable training methods according to local conditions, including one-to-one coaching, group training, VCD, and visual reality technology for some developed regions.

Keywords: Cognitive therapy; Tai Chi; meta-analysis; mild cognitive impairment; older adults; systematic review.

PMID: 33043709 DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1830311