Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Effect of Tai Chi for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis in elderly adults: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Wei-qiang Mu,
  2. Xia-yu Huang,
  3. Jiang Zhang,
  4. Xiao-cong Liu,
  5. Mao-mao Huang
  1. Jingdezhen City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jingdezhen, China
  1. Correspondence to Mao-mao Huang; huangmaomao88{at}


Introduction Osteoporosis (OP) has been defined as a degenerative bone disease characterised by low bone mass and microstructural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to fragility and an increased risk of fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Exercise has been shown to benefit the maintenance of bone health and improvement of muscle strength, balance and coordination, thereby reducing the risk of falls and fractures. However, prior findings regarding the optimal types and regimens of exercise for treating low bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly people are not consistent. As an important component of traditional Chinese Qigong exercises, Tai Chi (TC) is an ancient art and science of healthcare derived from the martial arts. The objective of this study is to attempt to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing studies on TC exercise as an intervention for the prevention or treatment of OP in elderly adults and to draw more useful conclusions regarding the safety and the effectiveness of TC in preventing or treating OP.

Methods and analysis Eight electronic databases (Science Citation Index, PubMed Database, Embase (Ovid) Database, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Chinese databases, including Chinese BioMedical Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang database and the Chongqing VIP Chinese Science and Technology Periodical Database) will be searched from the beginning of each database to 1 April 2018. Potential outcomes of interest will include rates of fractures or falls, BMD at the total hip and the total spine, bone formation biomarkers, bone resorption biomarkers, bone biomarkers, health-related quality of life and adverse events. Only randomised controlled trials comparing TC exercise against each other or non-intervention will be included. The Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool will be used for quality assessment.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required as the study will be a review of existing studies. This review may help to elucidate whether TC exercise is effective for the prevention or treatment of OP in elderly adults. The findings of the study will be published in a peer-reviewed publication and will be disseminated electronically or in print. We will share the findings in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Trial registration number CRD42018084950.

  • Tai Chi
  • osteoporosis
  • elderly adults
  • systematic review
  • protocol

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • W-M and X-H contributed equally.

  • Contributors XYH designed the study protocol and drafted the manuscript. MMH wrote the manuscript, JZ and XCL checked the manuscript. WQM revised and finalised the study protocol. All authors contributed to drafting the manuscript and have read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Jingdezhen City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and will be supported by the Jingdezhen City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in developing the protocol.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.