This meta-analysis aimed to update and evaluate evidence from randomized controlled trials of tai chi for patients with chronic heart failure.
Both English and Chinese databases were searched from their inception to June 2, 2016 (PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for English publications and China Knowledge Resource Integrated, Wanfang, and Weipu databases for Chinese publication). Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened against study inclusion criteria: randomized controlled trials studying tai chi intervention for patients with chronic heart failure. The meta-analysis was conducted with Revman 5.3 or STATA 12.
Thirteen randomized controlled trials were included. Tai chi induced significant improvement in 6-min walking distance (51.01 m; 30.49–71.53; P < 0.00). Moreover, tai chi was beneficial for quality of life (−10.37 points; −14.43 to −6.32; P = 0.00), left ventricular ejection fraction (7.72%; 3.58–11.89; P = 0.003), and B-type natriuretic peptide (−1.01; −1.82 to −0.19; P = 0.02).
Despite heterogeneity and risk of bias, this meta-analysis further confirms that tai chi may be an effective cardiac rehabilitation method for patients with chronic heart failure. Larger, well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to exclude the risk of bias.