Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review

Author: Zhidong Cai1, Wanting Jiang1, Jilin Yin2, Zhitong Chen3, Jing Wang3, Xing Wang1
1 School of Physical Education and Training, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China.
2 Physical Education Department, Beibu Gulf University, Qinzhou 535011, China.
3 School of Physical Education and Health, Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance, Shanghai 201620, China.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
Date published: 2020 Dec 28
Other: Volume ID: 2020 , Pages: 6683302 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2020/6683302. , Word Count: 237

This systematic and meta-analytic review aimed to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on the cognitive function of the elderly with cognitive impairment and to analyze the moderators of these effects. We searched eight electronic databases for randomized controlled trials on the effects of TCC on cognitive function, published up to June 14, 2020. The PEDro scale was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the included literature. Stata14.0 software was used for meta-analysis, subgroup analysis, and publication bias testing. A total of 19 studies and 1,970 samples were included. The methodological quality of the included literature was fair to good, and there was no publication bias. Overall, the research shows that the effect of TCC on the elderly with cognitive impairment is statistically significant (SMD = 0.31, p < 0.0001). Five of the cognitive function subdomains were significant moderators [Q (5) = 15.66, p=0.008], and the effect size (ES) was the largest for global cognitive function (SMD = 0.41), followed by executive function (SMD = 0.33), memory (SMD = 0.31), and verbal fluency (SMD = 0.27). Regarding the exercise prescription variables, results were significantly moderated by the length of exercise training [Q (2) = 6.00, p=0.05], with ESs largest for moderate length (SMD = 0.41), followed by short length (SMD = 0.40) and long length (SMD = 0.29). However, the results were not moderated by session time or frequency. TCC can improve multiple cognitive functions of the elderly with cognitive impairment. The intervention effects are moderated by exercise length, but not by exercise session time and frequency.

PMID: 33424991 PMCID: PMC7781704 DOI: 10.1155/2020/6683302