Mind-body practices for cancer-related symptoms management: an overview of systematic reviews including one hundred twenty-nine meta-analyses

Author: María Jesús Casuso-Holgado1,2, Alberto Marcos Heredia-Rizo1,2, Paula Gonzalez-Garcia1, María Jesús Muñoz-Fernández3,4, Javier Martinez-Calderon1,2
1 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry, University of Seville, 41009, Seville, Spain.
2 Uncertainty, Mindfulness, Self, Spirituality (UMSS) Research Group, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.
3 Uncertainty, Mindfulness, Self, Spirituality (UMSS) Research Group, University of Seville, Seville, Spain. mariajmf@euosuna.org.
4 Department of Physiotherapy, University School Francisco Maldonado, Avd. de los Cipreses S/N, 41640, Osuna, Spain. mariajmf@euosuna.org.
Conference/Journal: Support Care Cancer
Date published: 2022 Nov 2
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07426-3. , Word Count: 257

Mind-body practices such as qigong, tai chi, or yoga combine physical movements, deep breathing, and meditation techniques aiming to improve how people self-care. Our purpose was to develop an overview of systematic reviews to summarize the available evidence on the effectiveness of mind-body practices for cancer-related symptoms management.

CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library were used to search systematic reviews with meta-analysis from inception until March 2022. Cancer-related symptoms such as fatigue, pain, psychological measures, and overall quality of life were chosen as outcomes of interest. The methodological quality of each systematic review was assessed using AMSTAR 2. Citation matrices were developed, and the corrected covered area was calculated to explore the potential primary study overlap.

A total of 38 systematic reviews comprising 134 distinct primary studies and 129 separate meta-analyses were included. The items of AMSTAR 2 regarding the review protocol, the reasons to choose a specific research design, and the provision of a list of studies that justify their exclusion were scarcely performed. The primary study overlap was moderate for qigong trials and high for both tai chi and yoga trials. Mainly, we found that qigong showed promising effects to reduce fatigue. Tai chi produced positive effects in reducing anxiety. Yoga improved anxiety, depression, distress, stress, and overall quality of life. Finally, the effects of mind-body practices on pain were inconsistent.

Qigong, tai chi, and yoga could be effective approaches to relief cancer-related symptoms in adults with different cancer diagnoses.

Keywords: Cancer; Meta-analysis; Qigong; Systematic review; Tai chi; Yoga.

PMID: 36322248 DOI: 10.1007/s00520-022-07426-3