Study designs of evaluations included in the review
To be eligible, studies needed to be randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or controlled trials (CCTs). However, it appears that one case-control study was also included.
Specific interventions included in the review
To be eligible, studies needed to investigate taiji in relation to health and wellness promotion or cardiopulmonary applications within the scope of physical therapy practice. A variety of styles and forms of taiji were used across the included studies. Comparator groups included those who were on a waiting list, following a home exercise programme, doing aerobic activities, doing no exercise, maintaining normal activities, brisk walking, or doing meditation and reading. Where stated, study duration ranged from a one-off session to daily sessions for between 8 and 15 weeks.
Participants included in the review
No inclusion criteria for the participants were pre-specified. In some of the studies the participants were unfamiliar with taiji, whilst in others they were already practising. Populations included elders living in the community, those who had recently had a coronary artery bypass graft, those who had recently had a myocardial infarction and a group of participants of Asian origin.
Outcomes assessed in the review
No inclusion criteria for the outcomes were pre-specified. The outcomes in the included studies were immune response, SF-36 score (physical functioning), activity tolerance, blood-pressure management, home exercise maintenance and level of stress.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.