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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 383245, 10 pages
Review Article

Quality of Reporting of Randomized Clinical Trials in Tai Chi Interventions—A Systematic Review

1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
2National Study Center for Trauma & EMS, 701 W. Pratt Street, Suite 590, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
3Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
4Center for Orthopedics, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing, China
5Wangjing Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
6Health Outcome Management, LLC, USA
7Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology & Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA

Received 10 July 2008; Accepted 24 February 2009

Copyright © 2011 Jing-Yi Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To evaluate the reporting quality of published randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in the Tai Chi literature following the publication of the CONSORT guidelines in 2001. Data Sources. The OVID MEDLINE and PUBMED databases. Review Methods. To survey the general characteristics of Tai Chi RCTs in the literature, we included any report if (i) it was an original report of the trial; (ii) its design was RCT; (iii) one of the treatments being tested was Tai Chi; and (iv) it was in English. In addition, we assessed the reporting quality of RCTs that were published between 2002 and 2007, using a modified CONSORT checklist of 40 items. The adequate description of Tai Chi interventions in these trials was examined against a 10-item checklist adapted from previous reviews. Results. The search yielded 31 Tai Chi RCTs published from 2002 to 2007 and only 11 for 1992–2001. Among trials published during 2002–2007, the most adequately reported criteria were related to background, participant eligibility and interpretation of the study results. Nonetheless, the most poorly reported items were associated with randomization allocation concealment, implementation of randomization and the definitions of period of recruitment and follow-up. In addition, only 23% of RCTs provided adequate details of Tai Chi intervention used in the trials. Conclusion. The findings in this review indicated that the reporting quality of Tai Chi intervention trials is sub-optimal. Substantial improvement is required to meet the CONSORT guidelines and allow assessment of the quality of evidence. We believe that not only investigators, but also journal editors, reviewers and funding agencies need to follow the CONSORT guidelines to improve the standards of research and strengthen the evidence base for Tai Chi and for complementary and alternative medicine.