Objectives Conduct a systematic review to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi on physical and psychosocial function among individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. Methods An electronic literature search of 12 databases using controlled vocabulary function and keywords from inception through August 2016. All Tai Chi intervention studies assessing physical and psychosocial function among persons with Multiple Sclerosis were included. Study quality was scored using an established tool examining 16 study elements (range = 0–32). Results A total of 91 articles were retrieved, with 3 additional articles identified through reviewing bibliographies of relevant articles. A total of 8 studies (randomized controlled trials, n = 3; quasi-experimental, n = 5) enrolled 193 participants with Multiple Sclerosis. Studies were conducted in the USA (n = 3), Europe (n = 3), Iran, (n = 1), and India (n = 1). A total of 3 studies reported using the Yang style of Tai Chi (not specified, n = 5 studies). The Tai Chi intervention averaged 27 sessions over 11 weeks. Study quality scores for the randomized controlled trials had a mean score of 23 (range 19–26), while quality scores for quasi-experimental studies had a mean score of 20 (range 13–26). Overall, participants enrolled in Tai Chi had better balance, gait and flexibility, less fatigue and depression, and better quality of life after the intervention; though mixed results were reported. Conclusion The results indicate that Tai Chi is likely safe and may provide physical and psychosocial benefits in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. Further research is needed using more rigorous study designs to assess the benefits of Tai Chi for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.
- Multiple sclerosis
- Postural balance
- Tai Ji
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and Manual Therapy
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing