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      Effectiveness of meditative movement on COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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          The effectiveness of meditative movement (tai chi, yoga, and qigong) on COPD remained unclear. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of meditative movement on COPD patients.


          We searched PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials for relevant studies. The methods of standard meta-analysis were utilized for identifying relevant researches (until August 2017), quality appraisal, and synthesis. The primary outcomes were the 6-minute walking distance (6MWD), lung function, and dyspnea levels.


          Sixteen studies involving 1,176 COPD patients were included. When comparing with the control group, the 6MWD was significantly enhanced in the treatment group (3 months: mean difference [MD]=25.40 m, 95% CI: 16.25 to 34.54; 6 months: MD=35.75 m, 95% CI: 22.23 to 49.27), as well as functions on forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1) (3 months: MD=0.1L, 95% CI: 0.02 to 0.18; 6 months: MD=0.18L, 95% CI: 0.1 to 0.26), and FEV 1 % predicted (3 months: 4L, 95% CI: 2.7 to 5.31; 6 months: MD=4.8L, 95% CI: 2.56 to 7.07). Quality of life for the group doing meditative movement was better than the control group based on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire dyspnea score (MD=0.9 units, 95% CI: 0.51 to 1.29) and fatigue score (MD=0.75 units, 95% CI: 0.42 to 1.09) and the total score (MD=1.92 units, 95% CI: 0.54 to 3.31).


          Meditative movement may have the potential to enhance lung function and physical activity in COPD patients. More large-scale, well-designed, multicenter, randomized controlled trials should be launched to evaluate the long-range effects of meditative movement.

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          Most cited references 41

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          American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement on pulmonary rehabilitation.

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              Tai chi: physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health.

              To assess the characteristic effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) exercise on metabolism and cardiorespiratory response, and to measure its effect on cardiorespiratory function, mental control, immune capacity, and the prevention of falls in elderly people. A review of controlled experimental studies and clinical trials designed with one of two aims: either to assess physiological responses during the performance of TCC or to assess the impact of this exercise on general health and fitness. Metabolic rate, heart rate, blood pressure, ventilation, maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2)MAX), immune capacity, falls, and fall related factors. A total of 2216 men and women. Under review were 31 original studies, published in Chinese or English journals, that met the criteria for inclusion. Most of the papers written in Chinese had not been introduced into the Western literature. Nine of these studies showed that TCC can be classified as moderate exercise, as its does not demand more than 55% of maximal oxygen intake. When this form of exercise and others conducted at equal intensity were compared, TCC showed a significantly lower ventilatory equivalent (VE/VO(2)MAX). Evidence provided by cross sectional and longitudinal studies suggests that TCC exercise has beneficial effects on cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal function, posture control capacity, and the reduction of falls experienced by the elderly. TCC is a moderate intensity exercise that is beneficial to cardiorespiratory function, immune capacity, mental control, flexibility, and balance control; it improves muscle strength and reduces the risk of falls in the elderly.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                17 April 2018
                : 13
                : 1239-1250
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Rehabilitation, No. 175 Hospital of PLA, Zhangzhou, Fujian, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Postgraduate Institute of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [4 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [5 ]Department of Medical Oncology, Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [6 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Kai-Xiong Liu, Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Fujian Medical University, 20 Chazhong Road, Fuzhou 350005, People’s Republic of China, Email lkxfpt@
                © 2018 Wu et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Respiratory medicine

                qigong, meditative movement, yoga, tai chi, meta-analysis, copd


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