Quality of Life and Psychosocial Well-being

Effects of Tai Chi Qigong on psychosocial well-being among hidden elderly, using elderly neighborhood volunteer approach: a pilot randomized controlled trial

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China


Outcomes: Purpose – To test the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a tai chi qigong program with the assistance of elderly neighborhood volunteers in strengthening social networks and enhancing the psychosocial well-being of hidden elderly. “Hidden elderly” is a term used to describe older adults who are socially isolated and refuse social participation.

Conclusion – The pilot study confirmed that tai chi qigong with elderly neighborhood volunteers is a safe and feasible social intervention for hidden elderly. Its potential benefits in improving social and psychological health suggest the need for a full-scale randomized controlled trial to reveal its empirical effects.

Tai Chi Meditation Effects on Nuclear Factor-κB Signaling in Lonely Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., USA


Outcomes: Ours is the first study to show that Tai Chi Chih (TCC) has the capacity to alter stress levels in lonely older adults and to attenuate the rate of increase in a key transcription factor, NF-κB, involved in the upstream inflammatory cascade. Limitations of this study include its small sample size and the predominance of women, which limit the generalizability of our results; hence, these findings require future replication. A larger sample would enable more appropriate tests of whether changes in stress mediate the changes in NF-κB. History of loneliness was not assessed, so the chronic nature of stress in the sample was unknown. Future studies should account for a previous history of loneliness. Levels of NF-κB were only measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and it is possible that the changes in NF-κB reported here are due to changes in lymphocyte subset distribution. However, such changes in immune cell trafficking occur primarily in the context of acute stress manipulation, and chronic stress has not been associated with changes in immune cell numbers. The meditation intervention TCC significantly reduced psychological stress and attenuated the rise of NF-κB activation that is otherwise found in lonely older adults.

Tai Chi versus brisk walking in elderly women

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


Outcomes:  A short style of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) was found to be an effective way to improve many fitness measures in elderly women over a 3-month period. TCC was also found to be significantly better than brisk walking in enhancing certain measures of fitness including lower extremity strength, balance and flexibility.

Evaluation of the sustaining effects of Tai Chi Qigong in the sixth month in promoting psychosocial health in COPD patients: a single-blind, randomized controlled trial

The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong


Outcomes: Tai Chi Qigong (TCQ) has sustaining effects in improving psychosocial health; it is also a useful and appropriate exercise for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

Impact of Qigong on quality of life, pain and depressive symptoms in older adults admitted to an intermediate care rehabilitation unit: a randomized controlled trial

Hospital Sociosantari Pere Virgili, Barcelona, Spain


Outcomes: According to our results, a structured Qigong intervention, together with usual care, might contribute to improve quality of life of patients admitted to a post-acute intermediate care rehabilitation unit, compared to usual care.

Improving Sleep Quality in Older Adults with Moderate Sleep Complaints: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Tai Chi Chih

University of California, Los Angeles, USA


Outcomes: Tai Chi Chih can be considered a useful nonpharmacologic approach to improve sleep quality in older adults with moderate complaints and, thereby, has the potential to ameliorate sleep complaints possibly before syndromal insomnia develops.

Research on psychoneuroimmunology: tai chi as a stress management approach for individuals with HIV disease

Integrating Wellness, Inc., Richmond, VA, USA and School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA


Outcomes: As a stress management strategy, tai chi may enhance one’s coping ability and potentially impact neuroendocrine responses and, ultimately, immune function. We investigated this mind–body intervention, along with two other intervention groups and a wait-listed control group, in a randomized clinical trial to discover its specific biopsychosocial effects in individuals living with various stages of HIV disease. This article focuses on the novel tai chi intervention and provides preintervention and postintervention quantitative and qualitative data related to its use as a stress management strategy among persons with HIV disease. Conclusion: From the holistic perspective of PNI, the stress process is a dynamic interaction between an individual, social–environmental factors, and stressors. This interaction influences stress perception, coping patterns, and, ultimately, neuroendocrine–immune processes. In individuals living with HIV disease, PNI recognizes that psychological distress results in immunosuppression and, potentially, disease progression. Mind–body stress management approaches may be effective in addressing these interactions. The quantitative data in this study were corroborated by the interview data for participants in the tai chi group, who described physical, emotional, spiritual, and social benefits of participating in the group. These findings indicate that the tai chi intervention may account for clinically meaningful improvements in psychosocial functioning. Ultimately, it may be shown that tai chi moderates the progression of HIV disease through enhanced quality of life and coping mechanisms.

A randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi for tension headaches

David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA and RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA


Outcomes: As a TCM/CAM therapy, Tai Chi offers a holistic approach to patient care that differs from the approach of conventional treatment. Tai Chi offers a range of benefits, and can be integrated with other modalities of TCM, CAM and conventional medicine. To integrate CAM and conventional medicine into a new model that is safer, accessible, affordable and effective will require additional research. Future well-designed clinical studies are needed.