Table 1. Characteristics of Included Studies
Article, YearCountry/RegionParticipant Characteristics, Sample SizeDiseaseInterventionDuration of Trial PeriodOutcomesTime Point
Barrow (2007)21UK65 participants (G1=32, G2=33). Mean age: G1=68.4 years, G2=67.9 yearsHeart failure G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Standard medical care
Twice a week for 16 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure), quality of life (MLHFQ), depression (SCL‐R depression index)16 weeks
Blake (2009)22UK20 participants (G1=10, G2=10). Mean age (SD): G1=46.2 years (11.27), G2=44.5 years (10.52). Mean duration of disease (SD): G1=16.40 years (9.04), G2=14.98 years (13.62)Brain injury G1: Tai Chi and qigong exercise
G2: No exercise
Once a week for 8 weeksQOL (GHQ)8 weeks
Cai (2010)23China60 participants (G1=30, G2=30). Mean age (SD): G1=60.3 years (10.5), G2=61.3 years (7.4)Stroke G1: Baduanjin and health education
G2: Health education
4 to 5 times a week for 3 monthsQOL (WHOQOL‐BREF)3 months
Caminiti (2011)24Italy60 participants (G1=30, G2=30). Mean age (SD): G1=73.4 years (2), G2=73.8 years (6). Duration of disease: >3 monthsChronic heart failure G1: Tai chi exercise plus endurance training
G2: Endurance training
4 sessions a week for 8 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate), physical function (6MWT)12 weeks
Channer (1996)25UK79 participants (G1=38, G2=41). Age range: 39–80 yearsAcute myocardial infarction G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Aerobic exercise
Twice weekly for 3 weeks then weekly for a further 5 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate)8 weeks
Chen (2006)26China40 participants (G1=20, G2=20). Mean age: G1=64.3 years, G2=60.7. Mean duration of disease (SD): G1=8.4 years (4.9), G2=7.8 years (5.4)Hypertension G1: Tai chi plus drug
G2: Drug
7 times a week for 9 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure), biochemical outcomes (endothelin)10 weeks
Chen (2013)27China68 participants (G1=50, G2=18). Age range: 30–82 yearsHypertension G1: Conventional treatment and tai chi
G2: Conventional treatment
6 times a week for 12 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure)12 weeks
Chen (2013)28China60 participants (G1=32, G2=28). Mean age (SD): G1=69.3 years (10.6), G2=68.7 years (11.1)Coronary disease G1: Conventional treatment and tai chi
G2: Conventional treatment
4 times a week for 12 weeksBiochemical outcomes (TC, TG, LDL‐C, HDL‐C)12 weeks
Cheung (2005)29Hong Kong, China88 participants (G1=47, G2=41). Mean age (SD): G1=57.2 years (9.5), G2=51.2 years (7.4). Mean duration of disease (SD): G1=4.0 years (5.6), G2=3.9 years (5.1)Hypertension G1: Qigong exercise
G2: conventional exercise
4 hours a week for 16 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate), biochemical outcomes (TC, TG, LDL‐C, HDL‐C), QOL (SF‐36), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) 4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
16 weeks
Ding (2013)30China90 participants (G1=30, G2=30, G3=30). Mean age (SD): G1=66.2 years (11.6), G2=64.9 years (11.0), G3=66.7 years (13.1)Percutaneous transluminal coronary intervention G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Walking
G3: No intervention
5 times a week for 6 monthsQOL (SF‐36) 6 weeks
6 months
Gemmell (2006)31New Zealand18 participants (G1=9, G2=9)Braumatic brain injury G1: TCE (tai chi)
G2: No intervention
Once a week for 6 weeksQOL (SF‐36)6 weeks
Hart (2004)32Israel152 participants (G1=56, G2=55, G3=41). Mean age (SD): G1=70.8 years (6.3), G2=70 years (6.3), G3=69.6 years (6.1)Stroke G1: TCE (tai chi)
G2: Hydrotherapy
G3: No intervention
Twice a week for 12 weeksQOL (Duke Health Profile) 6 weeks
12 weeks
Lee (2003)33Korea58 participants (G1=29, G2=29). Mean age (SD): G1=55.8 years (6.3), G2=57.1 years (7.6)Hypertension G1: Qigong exercise
G2: No intervention
7 times a week for 10 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate)10 weeks
Lee (2003)34Korea58 participants (G1=29, G2=29). Mean age (SD): G1=56.0 years (5.9), G2=56.5 years (7.2)Hypertension G1: Qigong exercise
G2: No intervention
3 times a week for 10 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate)10 weeks
Lee (2004)35Korea36 participants (G1=17, G2=19). Mean age (SD): G1=52.6 years (5.1), G2=54.3 years (5.5)Hypertension G1: Qigong exercise
G2: No intervention
7 times a week for 8 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure), biochemical outcomes (TC, TG, HDL‐C)8 weeks
Li (2012)36China68 participants (G1=36, G2=32). Age range: 38–76 yearsStroke G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Strength exercise
Twice weekly for 5 weeksDepression (HAMD)5 weeks
Lin (2012)37China60 participants (G1=30, G2=30). Mean age (SD): G1=66.47 years (8.26) G2=64.90 years (8.87)Coronary artery bypass grafting G1: Baduanjin
G2: Conventional exercise
4–5 times a week for 23 weeksQOL 8 weeks
20 weeks
Luo (2006)38China84 participants (G1=44, G2=40). Mean age (SD): G1=44.74 years (12.1), G2=44.86 years (13.05)Hypertension G1: Tai chi plus drug
G2: Drug
7 times a week for 6 monthsPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure)6 months
Mao (2006)39China62 participants (G1=51, G2=11). Mean age: G1=62.2 years, G2=63.3Hypertension G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Drug
6 times a week for 8 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure), biochemical outcomes (endothelin, no)8 weeks
Ning (2010)40China50 participants (G1=26, G2=24). Mean age (SD): G1=53.9 years (6.4), G2=53.5 years (6.7)Coronary disease G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Drug
2 or 3 times a week for 6 monthsBiochemical outcomes (TC, TG)8 weeks
Pan (2009) 41China48 participants (G1=24, G2=24). Mean age (SD): G1=62.1 years (5.8), G2=61.4 years (7.1)Hypertension G1: Baduanjin exercise plus drug
G2: Drug
5 times a week for 24 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure), biochemical outcomes (TC, TG, HDL‐C)24 weeks
Sato (2010)42Japan20 participants (G1=10, G2=10). Mean age (SD): G1=68 years (5), G2=68 years (4). Mean duration of disease (SD): G1=19 months (15), G2=21 months (13)Coronary disease G1: Tai chi exercise plus conventional rehabilitation
G2: Conventional rehabilitation
4 times a week for 1 yearPhysiological outcomes (peak oxygen uptake, blood pressure, heart rate)1 year
Taylor‐Piliae (2012)43USA28 participants (G1=16, G2=12). Mean age (SD): G1=72.8 years (10.1), G2=64.5 years (10.9). Mean duration of disease (SD): G1=58.3 months (46.7), G2=47.9 months (42.5)Chronic stroke G1: Tai chi
G2: Usual care
Once a week for 8 weeksPhysical function (Short Physical Performance Battery), QOL (SF‐36)8 weeks
Tsai (2003)44Taiwan, China76 participants (G1=37, G2=39). Mean age (SD): G1=50.5 years (7), G2=62.7 years (4)Hypertension G1: TCE (tai chi chuan)
G2: Sedentary life controls
3 times a week for 12 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate), biochemical outcomes (TC, TG, LDL‐C, HDL‐C)12 weeks
Wang (1989)45China100 participants (G1=50, G2=50). Age range: 45–65Hypertension G1: Qigong exercise plus drug
G2: Drug
7 times a week for 1 yearBiochemical outcomes (TC, TG, LDL‐C, HDL‐C)1 year
Wang (2010)46Japan34 participants (G1=17, G2=17). Age: >50 yearsCerebral vascular disorder G1: TCE (tai chi)
G2: Rehabilitation exercise
Once a week for 12 weeksQOL (GHQ), depressing (GHQ)12 weeks
Wang (2012)47China69 participants (G1=36, G2=33). Mean age (SD): G1=55.8 years (3.54), G2=51.2 years (7.8)Stroke G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Conventional exercise
2 times a week for 3 monthsQOL (SF‐36) and depression (HAMD)6 months
Wang (2013)48China60 participants (G1=30, G2=30). Mean age (SD): G1=55.25 years (11.13), G2=54.86 years (12.05)Percutaneous transluminal coronary intervention G1: Conventional treatment and tai chi
G2: Conventional treatment
5 times a week for 6 monthsQOL (SF‐36)3 months 6 months
Yao (2010)49China150 participants (G1=80, G2=70). Mean age (SD): G1=52.4 years (6.32), G2=51.7 years (7.26)Chronic heart failure G1: Conventional treatment and tai chi
G2: Conventional treatment
>5 times a week for 6 monthsPhysical function (6MWT), quality of life (SF‐36)6 months
Yeh (2004)50USA30 participants (G1=15, G2=15). Mean age (SD): G1=66 years (12), G2=61 years (14)Chronic heart failure G1: Usual care and tai chi exercise
G2: Usual care
Twice weekly for 12 weeksPhysiological outcomes (peak oxygen uptake), biochemical outcomes (BNP), physical function (6MWT), QOL (MLHFQ)12 weeks
Yeh (2008)51USA18 participants (G1=8, G2=10). Mean age (SD): G1=54.7 years (11.8), G2=64.2 years (16.2)Chronic heart failure G1: Tai chi exercise and usual care
G2: Usual care
Twice weekly for 12 weeksBiochemical outcomes (BNP), physical function (6MWT), quality of life (MLHFQ)12 weeks
Yeh (2011)52USA100 participants (G1=50, G2=50). Mean age (SD): G1=68.1 years (11.9), G2=66.6 years (12.1)Chronic heart failure G1: Usual care and tai chi exercise
G2: Usual care and education sessions
Twice weekly for 12 weeksPhysiological outcomes (peak oxygen uptake), biochemical outcomes (BNP), physical function (timed up and go, 6MWT), QOL (MLHFQ), depression (POMS)12 weeks
Yeh (2013)53USA16 participants (G1=8, G2=8). Mean age (SD): G1=68 years (11), G2=63 years (11)Heart failure G1: Tai chi exercise
G2: Aerobic exercise
Twice weekly for 12 weeksPhysiological outcomes (blood pressure, Peak oxygen uptake, heart rate), biochemical outcomes (BNP), physical function (time up and go, 6MWT), quality of life (MLHF), depression (POMS)12 weeks
Yu (2013)54China104 participants (G1=52, G2=52). Age range: 40–70 yearsHypertension G1: Baduanjin exercise plus education
G2: Education
3 or 4 times a week for 1 yearBlood pressure1 year
Zhang (2013)55China120 participants (G1=60, G2=60). Mean age: G1=73.9 years, G2=76.5 yearsHypertension G1: Baduanjin exercise plus drug
G2: Drug
7 times a week for 2 monthsQOL2 months
  • 6MWT indicates 6‐minute walk test; BNP, B‐type natriuretic peptide; G, group; GHQ, General Health Questionnaire; HAMD, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale; HDL‐C, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol; LDL‐C, low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol; MLHFQ, Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire; POMS, Profile of Mood States; QOL, quality of life; SCL‐R, Symptom Checklist 90–Revised; SF‐36, 36‐Item Short Form; TC, total cholesterol; TCE, traditional Chinese exercise; TG, triglyceride; WHOQOL‐BREF, World Health Organization Quality of Life project 26‐item instrument.