Tai Chi for health and well-being: a bibliometric analysis of published clinical studies between 2010 and 2020

Guo Yan Yang*, Angelo Sabag, Wen-Li Hao, Li-Ning Zhang, Ming-Xian Jia, Ning Dai, Han Zhang, Zahra Ayati, Yan-Jun Cheng, Chen-Hao Zhang, Xiao-Wen Zhang, Fan-Long Bu, Min Wen, Xian Zhou, Jian-Ping Liu, Peter M. Wayne, Carolyn Ee, Dennis Chang, Hosen Kiat, Jennifer HunterAlan Bensoussan

*Corresponding author for this work

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The objective of this bibliometric review was to identify the volume, breadth, and characteristics of clinical studies evaluating Tai Chi published between January 2010 and January 2020. Five English and four Chinese language databases were searched. Following independent screening, 1018 eligible publications representing 987 studies were identified, which was a three-fold increase from the previous decade. Most common were randomized controlled trials (548/987, 55.5 %), followed by systematic reviews (157/987, 15.9 %), non-randomized controlled clinical studies (152/987, 15.4 %), case series (127/987, 12.9 %) and case reports (3/987, 0.3 %) that were conducted in China (730/987, 74.0 %), followed by the United States of America (123/987, 12.5 %) and South Korea (20/987, 2.0 %). Study participants were mostly in the adult (55.2 %) and/or older adult (72.0 %) age groups. The top ten diseases/conditions were hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, knee osteoarthritis, heart failure, depression, osteoporosis/osteopenia, breast cancer, coronary heart disease and insomnia. A quarter of the studies enrolled healthy participants to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi on health promotion/preservation, balance/falls, and physiological/biomechanical outcomes. Yang style Tai Chi was the most popular, followed by Chen and Sun style. Tai Chi was mostly commonly delivered face-to-face by a Tai Chi instructor in group settings for 60 min, three times a week, for 12 weeks. Most studies (93.8 %) reported at least one outcome in favor of Tai Chi. Adverse events were underreported (7.2 %). Over half fell short of expected intervention reporting standards, signalling the need for Tai Chi extensions to existing guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102748
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Early online date10 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Complementary therapies
  • Exercise
  • Mind-body therapies
  • Physical therapy
  • Tai Chi


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