The Effectiveness of Tai Chi in Breast Cancer Patients: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Author: Jinke Huang1, Haolin Liu1, Jiajie Chen1, Xiaowen Cai2, Yong Huang3
1 The Second Clinical Medical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.
2 School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
3 School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: J Pain Symptom Manage
Date published: 2020 Oct 14
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.10.007. , Word Count: 259

As a mind-body exercise, Tai Chi (TC) may have a positive impact on physical function and psychological wellbeing in breast cancer (BC) patients. The aim of this current overview of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) was to identify and summarize the existing evidence regarding the effectiveness of TC in patients with BC.

A computerized search of electronic databases was performed to identify relevant SRs/MAs of TC related to BC from inception to June 2020. The Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR-2) and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklists were used to assess the methodological quality and reporting quality of SRs and MAs, respectively. The Grades of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the evidence quality of outcome measures.

Six SRs/MAs in which quantitative synthesis was used to assess various outcomes of TC related to breast cancer (BC) were included in this overview. The quality of the SRs/MAs and the evidence quality of the outcome measures were generally unsatisfactory. The limitations of the past SRs/MAs were the lack of a protocol and registration, a list of excluded studies, or inadequately reported computational details of meta-analyses. The critical problems were that the qualitative data synthesis relied on the trials with small sample sizes and critical low quality.

TC is possibly beneficial to BC treatment. However, further rigorous, and comprehensive studies are required to provide robust evidence for definitive conclusions.

Keywords: AMSTAR-2; GRADE; PRISMA; Tai chi; breast cancer; overview.

PMID: 33068706 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.10.007