The effect of tai chi and Qigong exercise on depression and anxiety of individuals with substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis
There is a scarcity of systematic reviews summarizing the clinical evidence of the effect of Tai Chi and Qigong among individuals with substance use disorders. This study tries to fill this gap by measuring the effects of each in substance abuse treatment. The findings suggest a potentially beneficial effect of Qigong exercise on symptoms of anxiety among individuals with drug abuse, but no significant effect from Tai chi. The study found that qigong reduced anxiety and depression. One of the benefits of relaxation is the effect on the limbic system to replace the numbing effect of drugs. With qigong individuals experience less anxiety and perhaps the chance of relapse is reduced. Qigong practice reduced the pleasure dissonance and improved cognitive control with simplicity of movement. This is a small metastudy and more research is needed but preliminary results are positive, noting that Qigong may reduce the need for medication therapy
The effect of tai chi and Qigong exercise on depression and anxiety of individuals with substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysisBMC Complement Med Ther 2020 May 29;20(1):161.doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-02967-8.Fang Liu1, Jiabao Cui1, Xuan Liu1, Kevin W Chen12, Xiaorong Chen1, Ru Li3Free PMC article
Previous studies have acknowledged Tai Chi and Qigong exercise could be potential effective treatments for reducing depression and anxiety in both healthy and clinical populations. However, there is a scarcity of systematic reviews summarizing the clinical evidence conducted among individuals with substance use disorders. This study tries to fill up this gap.
A systematic search using Medline, EMbase, PsychINFO, Eric, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, and the Chinese Scientific Journal (VIP) databases was initiated to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized comparison studies (NRS) assessing the effect of Tai Chi and Qigong versus various comparison groups on depression and anxiety related outcomes.
Study quality was evaluated using a Checklist to Evaluate a Report of a Nonpharmacological Trial (CLEAR-NPT) designed for nonpharmacological trial.Results: One RCT and six NRS with a total of 772 participants were identified. Some of them were meta-analyzed to examine the pooled effects based on different types of intervention and controls. The results of meta-analyses suggested the effect of Tai Chi was comparable to treatment as usual (TAU) on depression (standardized mean difference (SMD) = - 0.17[- 0.52, 0.17]). Qigong exercise appears to result in improvement on anxiety compared to that of medication (SMD = -1.12[- 1.47, - 0.78]), and no treatment control (SMD = -0.52[- 0.77, - 0.27]).
Conclusion: The findings suggest potentially beneficial effect of Qigong exercise on symptoms of anxiety among individuals with drug abuse. Considering the small number and overall methodological weakness of included studies and lack of RCTs, results should be interpreted with caution and future rigorously designed RCTs are warranted to provide more reliable evidence.
Keywords: Anxiety; Depressive disorder; Qigong; Review; Substance-related disorders; Tai ji.