Skip to main content

Table 3 Effects of Tai Chi on psychological health (19 non-meta-analyzed studies)

From: Tai Chi on psychological well-being: systematic review and meta-analysis


Control Group(s)

Psychological Status Measured


Main Conclusions

5 Randomized Controlled Trials

Galantino et al, 2005

1.Aerobic exercise

2.Usual activity

Anxiety (POMS)


Tai Chi decreased tension-anxiety

Mustian et al, 2004

Psychosocial support therapy

Self-Esteem (RSE)


Tai Chi improved self-esteem

Kutner et al, 1997

1. Education control

2.Balance training

Self-Esteem (RSE)


Tai Chi improved self-esteem vs. exercise control and vs. education & balance training

Brown et al, 1995

1.Moderate intensity walk

2.Low intensity walk

3.Low intensity walk & relaxation

4.Usual lifestyle behaviors

Anxiety, Depression, Mood and Emotion (STAI, POMS, Tukey multiple comparison test, LSES, PANAS) Self-Esteem (RSE, SPES and BCS)


Tai Chi improved anxiety, depression, general mood and mood disturbance and negative affect (women)



Tai Chi improved self-esteem in physical competence (men and women)

Jin, 1992

1.TC meditation

2.Brisk walking

3.Neutral reading

Stress (Salivary Cortisol Levela) Anxiety (STAI Y-1) Mood and Emotion (POMS)


Tai Chi reduced anxiety vs. neutral reading group



All groups reduced stress level and improved total mood disturbance

7 Non-Randomized Comparison Studies

Lee et al, 2007

Usual activity

Self-Esteem (SSES-Chinese Version)


Tai Chi improved self-esteem

Wall, 2005


Anxiety (Written subjective statements)


Students reported feeling calmer, peaceful, relaxed & experienced well-being & improved sleep

Mills et al, 2000


Anxiety, Depression (POMS)


Tai Chi decreased tension-anxiety



Tai Chi decrease depression-dejection

Gibb et al, 1997


Mood and Emotion (Biographical Self Reflection Program)


Tai Chi improved structured reminiscence with facilitated focused & insightful thinking

Fu et al, 1996


Mood and Emotion (Records from self- report program)


Tai Chi decreased total mood disturbance

Jin, 1989


Stress (Salivary Cortisol Level) aDepression (POMS) Anxiety (STAI) Mood and Emotion (POMS)


Tai Chi decreased stress during and after Tai Chi



Tai Chi decreased anxiety and total mood disturbance during and after TC



Tai Chi decreased depression during and after Tai Chi

Mack, 1980


Mood and Emotion (no test reported)


Tai Chi improved mood status

7 Observational Studies

Chen et al, 2006


Mood and Emotion (Self-design, 10 items)


Tai Chi improved mood status & psychological health

Wang & Wang, 2004

1. >30 min, >3×/wk (regular Tai Chi & Tai Chi sword)

2. some activity, <30 min, <3×/wk

3. other activity, >30 min, >3×/wk

Stress (Chinese Psychological Stress Scores)


Tai Chi decreased psychological stress vs. some activity (<30 min, <3×/wk)



Tai Chi decreased psychological stress vs. other activity (>30 min, >3×/wk)

Yang et al, 2004

Routine activity

Anxiety (Zung SAS) Depression (Zung SDS)


Tai Chi decreased anxiety and depression scores

Bond et al, 2002


2.Moderate aerobic activity

Anxiety (STAI)


Tai Chi and moderate aerobic activity decreased state anxiety vs. sedentary group

Chen et al, 2001

No exercise control group

Anxiety, Depression, Mood and Emotion (POMS-SF)


Tai Chi decreased tension-anxiety, depression-dejection and total mood disturbance

Liu & Zhang, 2000

General population

Anxiety, Depression (Self-Rating Scale-90)


Tai Chi decreased anxiety and depression scales

Long et al, 2000

Routine activity

Anxiety, Depression, Mood and Emotion (POMS)


Tai Chi decreased anxiety, depression scales and total mood disturbance

  1. Abbreviations: ND = no data; NS = not statistically significant; DASS 21 = Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales 21 item questionnaire; POMS = Profile of Mood States; RSE = Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale; STAI = State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; LSES = Life Satisfaction in the Elderly Scale; PANAS = Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; SPS = Self-Perceived Stress score; SPES = Sonstroem Physical Examination Scale; BCS = Body Cathexis Score; SSES = State Self-Esteem Scale; FAHI = Functional Assessment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection; SAS = Self-Rating Anxiety Scale; SDS = Self-Rating Depression Scale. aObjective measure.