The effects of Tai Chi on physical function and well-being among persons with Parkinson's Disease: A systematic review

Klaudia J. Ćwiekała-Lewis, Matthew J Gallek, Ruth E Taylor-Piliae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Current medical treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) are mainly palliative, though research indicates Tai Chi exercise improves physical function and well-being. An electronic database search of PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO and Embase was conducted, to examine current scientific literature for potential benefits of Tai Chi on physical function and well-being among persons with PD. A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria: 7 randomized clinical trials and 4 quasi-experimental studies. PD participants (n = 548) were on average age 68 years old and 50% women. Overall, participants enrolled in Tai Chi had better balance and one or more aspect of well-being, though mixed results were reported. Further research is needed with more rigorous study designs, larger sample sizes, adequate Tai Chi exercise doses, and carefully chosen outcome measures that assess the mechanisms as well as the effects of Tai Chi, before widespread recommendations can be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 7 2016



  • Emotional adjustment
  • Gait
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Postural balance
  • Review
  • Tai Ji

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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