Table 2: Effects of Qigong exercise on management of osteoarthritis reported in randomized controlled trials.

First author (year) [ref.]SubjectsExercise interventionControl interventionResults

Chen (2008) [42]Older persons (≥50 yr) with knee OA in US, 𝑁 = 1 1 2 with 5% attrition in qigong, 5% attrition in placebo-sham control.External qigong therapy by two healers (5-6 sessions in 3 weeks), 𝑁 = 4 5 (63.9 ± 9.7 yr for healer 1) and 𝑁 = 1 2 (58.8 ± 7.0 yr for healer 2).Placebo-sham by two healers
(mimicked external qigong therapy, 5-6 sessions in 3 weeks), 𝑁 = 5 2 (62.9 ± 9.2 yr).
Compared to the placebo-sham group (1 and 3 months postintervention followup), external qigong group
(i) decreased pain (WOMAC) in healer 1 and healer 2,
(ii) improved functionality (WOMAC) and total WOMAC in healer 2,
(iii) showed no difference in range of motion,
(iv) showed no difference in psychological outcomes including anxiety level (Spielberger state trait anxiety scale) and depression scales (Center for Epidemiologic Studies depression scale).

An (2008) [43]Older persons with knee OA in China, 𝑁 = 2 8 with 21% attrition in Baduanjin and 28% attrition in control.Baduanjin (30 min/session × 5 sessions/week × 8 weeks), 𝑁 = 1 4 (65.4 ± 8.2 yr).No treatment, 𝑁 = 1 4 (64.6 ± 6.7 yr).Compared to the control group, Baduanjin group
(i) reduced pain and stiffness (WOMAC),
(ii) improved physical function (WOMAC),
(iii) improved aerobic capacity (6-minute walk test) and Peak Torque of quadriceps (isokinetic strength of the knee extensors),
(iv) showed no difference in general health, social function, and mental health subscales (SF-36).

Lee (2009) [44]Older person with knee OA in Korea, 𝑁 = 4 4 with 3% attrition in TC qiqong and 13% in control.TC qigong (60 min/session × 2 sessions/week × 8 weeks), 𝑁 = 2 8 (70.2 ± 4.8 yr).Waiting list control, 𝑁 = 1 3 (66.9 ± 6.0 yr).Compared to the control group, TC qigong group
(i) improved physical function by 6-min walking test,
(ii) improved quality of life (SF-36).

TC: Tai Chi; WOMAC: Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.