Effect of Qigong exercise on motor function in stroke patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Author: Yi Lan1, Qiqi You2, Qingqing Jiang2, Xiaoxiang Peng3, Dan Yan3, Shiyi Cao2, Jian Sun1,4
1 Wushu College, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, China.
2 School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
3 Department of Neurology, the Third People's Hospital of Hubei Province, Jianghan University, Wuhan, China.
4 Northeast China Ethnic Traditional Sports Research Center, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, China.
Conference/Journal: Top Stroke Rehabil
Date published: 2023 Jul 25
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/10749357.2023.2240582. , Word Count: 245

Motor impairment is one of the most common defects after stroke, which could seriously affect the life quality of stroke patients. Exercise intervention gradually becomes a popular alternative rehabilitation therapy because of its safety and applicability.

To systematically assess the effect of Qigong exercise on motor function in stroke patients.

Randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of Qigong on motor function of stroke patients were obtained from PubMed and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure through May 2022. Mean values and standard deviations of the post-intervention score in both experimental group and control group were collected to calculate the mean difference (MD) and corresponkding 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of each study, which were quantificationally summarized using the Review Manager 5.3 software.

Nineteen randomized controlled trials enrolling 1487 stroke patients were included. Pooled results indicated that Qigong exercise had beneficial effect on balance function (Berg Balance Scale [MD: 7.56, 95% CI: 4.09-11.02]), limb motor function (Fugl-Meyer Assessment [total score: MD: 7.54, 95% CI: 6.38-8.69; upper limb: MD: 3.57, 95% CI: 0.71-6.43; lower limb: MD: 2.44, 95% CI: 0.59-4.29]) and walking function (6-min walking test [MD: 62.21, 95% CI: 11.70-112.73]) of stroke patients. It was also found to be associated with an improvement in trunk function as indicated by the Trunk Impairment Scale.

Available evidence supported potential benefits of Qigong exercise for improving motor functions of stroke patients. As a safe and widely applicable exercise, Qigong is worthy of further promotion in the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Keywords: Qigong; meta-analysis; motor function; stroke; systematic review.

PMID: 37489736 DOI: 10.1080/10749357.2023.2240582