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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 152738, 16 pages
Review Article

The Effects of Qigong on Anxiety, Depression, and Psychological Well-Being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Psychological Department, Guang’an Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China
2Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3Department of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
4Chinese Cochrane Centre, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
5Benson Henry Institute Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received 24 July 2012; Revised 3 October 2012; Accepted 14 October 2012

Academic Editor: Melzer Jörg

Copyright © 2013 Fang Wang 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.


Introduction. The effect of Qigong on psychological well-being is relatively unknown. This study systematically reviewed the effects of Qigong on anxiety, depression, and psychological well-being. Methods. Using fifteen studies published between 2001 and 2011, a systematic review was carried out and meta-analyses were performed on studies with appropriate homogeneity. The quality of the outcome measures was also assessed. Results. We categorized these studies into three groups based on the type of subjects involved as follows: (1) healthy subjects, (2) subjects with chronic illnesses, and (3) subjects with depression. Based on the heterogeneity assessment of available studies, meta-analyses were conducted in three studies of patients with type II diabetes in the second group, which suggested that Qigong was effective in reducing depression ( ; 95% CI, −0.58–0.00) and anxiety ( ; 95% CI, −0.66–0.08), as measured by Symptom Checklist 90, and in improving psychological well-being ( ; 95% CI, −0.91–0.25) as measured by Diabetes Specific Quality of Life Scale. Overall, the quality of research methodology of existing studies was poor. Conclusions. Preliminary evidence suggests that Gigong may have positive effects on psychological well-being among patients with chronic illnesses. However the published studies generally had significant methodological limitations. More high-quality studies are needed.