Efficacy of Baduanjin for treatment of fatigue: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Author: Haoyu Liu1, Siling Liu2, Lu Xiong3, Bingquan Luo1
1 Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, Haidian, Beijing, China.
2 School of Sport and Art, Shenzhen Technology University, Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.
3 Jiangxi Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Nanchang, Jiangxi province, China.
Conference/Journal: Medicine (Baltimore)
Date published: 2023 Aug 11
Other: Volume ID: 102 , Issue ID: 32 , Pages: e34707 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000034707. , Word Count: 283

Numerous studies have suggested that Baduanjin, a traditional Chinese exercise, can alleviate fatigue symptoms in patients with various illnesses. The aim of this review was to evaluate the efficacy of Baduanjin in reducing fatigue symptoms.

A comprehensive literature search was conducted using several databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Medline, China Biology Medicine disc, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang, from inception to June 2023. Relevant studies reporting on the effects of Baduanjin on fatigue symptoms were included. A random-effects meta-analysis model with standardized mean differences was used to estimate the treatment effects. Moderator analyses were conducted using continuous variables and meta-regression. This review was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (identifier CRD42023411532). Grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluations framework was used to assess the certainty of evidence.

Ten randomized controlled trials with patients diagnosed with 9 different diseases were included in the meta-analysis. The Baduanjin intervention groups showed significant improvements in total fatigue intensity (standard mean difference = -0.49, 95% confidence interval = -0.69 to -0.30, P = .000; I2 = 56%, P = .009). The statistically significant differences in the subgroup analyses, including intervention durations, age of participants, fatigue types, and practice location, remained unchanged. Meta-regression showed that practice place might have significant effect on the results. The certainty of the evidence was moderate for participants 55-year younger or in hospital training. However, fatigue, different groups, participants 55-year or older, training at home, and different fatigue types had lower evidence certainty.

Baduanjin can effectively alleviate fatigue symptoms with relatively flexible requirements. However, studies investigating the same disease types and including non-Chinese populations are scarce. Therefore, further studies with long-term interventions, larger sample sizes, and well-designed methodologies are warranted.

PMID: 37565842 PMCID: PMC10419663 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000034707