This high quality meta-analysis study review found that MB exercises (like Qigong) as an add-on treatment may potentially improve depression, activities of daily living, and mobility of these post-stroke patients.
They limited the studies to those that were at least 5 weeks long, and they all showed positive results post stroke.
This meta-analysis demonstrated a very high level of rigor (using the PRISMA checklist), and is the combined work of Chinese and American Researchers.“To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis that included the rehabilitative effects of tai chi and qigong among stroke survivors. The main findings from this systematic review are of great significance for the public health sector since many stroke survivors have varying degrees of depression and loss of functional capacity—both of which affect their mood, functioning, and quality of life. MB exercises can be employed as safe and inexpensive complementary treatments to offer these patients more favorable outcomes.”
Effects of Mind-Body Exercises for Mood and Functional Capabilities in Patients with Stroke: An Analytical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Apr 11;15(4). pii: E721. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040721.Zou L, Yeung A2, Zeng N, Wang C, Sun L, Thomas GA, Wang H.
The effects of stroke are both physical and mental in nature and may have serious implications on the overall well-being of stroke survivors. This analytical review aims to critically evaluate and statistically synthesize the existing literature regarding the effects of mind-body (MB) exercises on mood and functional capabilities in patients with stroke.
Methods: A structured literature review was performed in both English (PubMed, PEDro, and Cochrane Library) and Chinese (Wanfang and CNKI (Chinese National Knowledge Information Database)) databases. Sixteen randomized controlled trials were considered eligible for meta-analysis. Based on the random effects model, we used the pooled effect size to determine the magnitude of rehabilitative effect of MB exercise intervention on depression, anxiety, activities of daily living, and functional mobility among stroke survivors. The sum PEDro score ranged from five to nine points (fair-to-good methodological quality), but the absence of concealed allocation and blinded assessors were reported in most studies.
Results: The aggregated results showed that MB exercise intervention is associated with significantly improved ADL (Hedges' g = 1.31, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.77, p < 0.001, I² = 79.82%) and mobility (Hedges' g = 0.67, 95% CI 0.25 to 1.09, p < 0.001, I² = 69.65%), and reduced depression (Hedges' g = -0.76, 95% CI -1.16 to -0.35, p < 0.001, I² = 74.84%).
Conclusions: as add-on treatments, the MB exercises may potentially improve depression, activities of daily living, and mobility of these post-stroke patients.
Future studies with more robust methodology will be needed to provide a more definitive conclusion.
KEYWORDS: mind-body exercise; rehabilitation; stroke; tai chi