Mind-body exercises for osteoarthritis: an overview of systematic reviews including 32 meta-analyses

Author: Maria de-la-Casa-Almeida1, Olga Villar-Alises2, Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez-Laulhé1,2, Javier Martinez-Calderon1,2, Javier Matias-Soto2,3
1 Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Enfermería, Fisioterapia y Podología, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.
2 Uncertainty, Mindfulness, Self, Spirituality (UMSS) Research Group, Sevilla, Spain.
3 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad de Malaga, Malaga, Spain.
Conference/Journal: Disabil Rehabil
Date published: 2023 Apr 28
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/09638288.2023.2203951. , Word Count: 260

To develop an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) to summarize the current evidence on the effectiveness of mind-body exercises, specifically qigong, tai chi, and yoga, on osteoarthritis-related symptoms.

CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and the Cochrane Library were searched from inception up to 20 June 2022. Pain, physical function, psychological symptoms, and quality of life were analyzed. AMSTAR 2 was used to assess the methodological quality of SRs. The primary study overlap among SRs was calculated.

A total of 13 SRs were selected, including 32 meta-analyses of interest that comprised 33 distinct primary studies. Overall, qigong, tai chi, and yoga-based interventions may improve osteoarthritis-related symptoms, mainly physical function. However, no SRs were judged to have high methodological quality. Only three SRs judged certainty of evidence using a gold standard for it. The primary study overlap was very high for SRs covering tai chi or yoga trials.

There was a positive tendency in favor of these mind-body exercises for improving pain, arthritis self-efficacy, and mainly, physical function. Unfortunately, no clinical recommendations can be made due to the high number of methodological concerns that were described above. New high-quality SRs covering this topic are needed.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONIt appears that qigong, tai chi, and yoga may improve physical function in osteoarthritis.In addition, tai chi may improve arthritis self-efficacy in knee osteoarthritis.As most of the included systematic reviews (SRs) had low quality, no firm recommendations can be made.Most of the included SRs did not evaluate the certainty in the evidence.

Keywords: Exercise; mind-body; osteoarthritis; physical activity; qigong; tai chi; yoga.

PMID: 37115606 DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2023.2203951