Objective: This study assessed the effects of Health Qigong on sleep quality in adults.
Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Method: We searched 10 databases to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in English or Chinese languages that evaluated the effects of Health Qigong on sleep quality in participants aged ≥18 years old with or without diseases in comparison with any type of controls. Quality of the included studies was assessed by the revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials. The between-group treatment effect size was estimated by calculating Hedges’ g and associated confidence interval (CI) through a random effects model. Cochran’s Q test and I2were used to determine heterogeneity.
Results: The initial search yielded 730 articles, of which 13 studies involving 1147 participants were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The overall effect size was -0.955 (95% CI: -1.601 to -0.309, p = 0.004). A homogeneity test revealed high heterogeneity (Q = 278.187, p < 0.001, I2 = 95.686%). A sensitivity analysis was conducted through the exclusion of an outlier, which revealed a small but statistically significant effect size (Hedges’ g = -0.423, 95% CI: -0.603 to -0.243, p < 0.001; Q = 18.073, p = 0.08, I2 = 39.137%).
Conclusions: Our study results suggest that Health Qigong is beneficial for improving sleep quality in adults with and without disease. However, the effects of Health Qigong could be partially due to nonspecific effects as half of the included studies did not employ an active control.