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Wood Rings

Effects of Mind–Body Interventions Involving Meditative Movements on Quality of Life, Depressive Symptoms, Fear of Falling and Sleep Quality in Older Adults: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

MDPI – Environmental Research and Public Health

Weber M., Schnorr T., Morat M., Morat T., Donath L.

9 September 2020


The aim of the present systematic meta-analytical review was to quantify the effects of different mind–body interventions (MBI) involving meditative movements on relevant psychological health outcomes (i.e., quality of life (QoL), depressive symptoms, fear of falling (FoF) and sleep quality) in older adults without mental disorders.

Methods: A structured literature search was conducted in five databases (Ovid, PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORT Discus, Web of Science).

Inclusion criteria were: (i) the study was a (cluster) randomized controlled trial, (ii) the subjects were aged 59 years without mental illnesses, (iii) an intervention arm performing MBI compared to a non-exercise control group (e.g., wait-list or usual care), (iv) psychological health outcomes related to QoL, depressive symptoms, or sleep quality were assessed and (v) a PEDro score of 5. The interventions of the included studies were sub-grouped into Tai Chi/Qigong (TCQ) and Yoga/Pilates (YP). Statistical analyses were conducted using a random-effects inverse-variance model.

Results: Thirty-seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (comprising 3224 participants) were included. Small to moderate-but-significant overall effect sizes favoring experimental groups compared to non-exercise control groups were observed in all outcomes, apart from one subdomain of quality of life. Interestingly, a significant larger effect on QoL and depressive symptoms with increasing training frequency was found for TCQ (Tai Chi/Qigong).

Conclusions: MBI involving meditative movements may serve as a promising opportunity to improve psychological health domains such as QoL, depressive symptoms, FoF and sleep quality in older adults. Hence, these forms of exercise may represent potential preventive measures regarding the increase of late-life mental disorders, which need to be further confirmed by future research.

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