Safety of Qigong: Protocol for an overview of systematic reviews

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Abstract

Background:

Qigong, as one of the essential elements of Traditional Chinese exercises, has been used to improve physical and psychological health and combat diseases in China for thousands of years. In recent years, the beneficial effects of Qigong on different medical conditions are becoming more accepted by both patients and health care providers. Although it is a common impression that Qigong and related therapies are generally safe procedures, but the current understanding of its adverse events is fragmented. Thus, we conducted this overview to synthesize comprehensively existing systematic reviews on adverse events associated with Qigong and related therapies, and our findings can be used to informing clinicians, Qigong practitioner, and patients alike on applying such treatments or interventions in clinical treatment and daily life training mindful manner, and provide a guideline for researchers in future.

Methods:

A systematic review of reviews will be performed. A literature search strategy designed by a number of specialists in the fields of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), sports medicine, health information, and Qigong training will be carried out in relevant English and Chinese electronic database. The date range of search will start from inception to the search date. Two reviewers will identify relevant studies, extract data information, and then assess the methodical quality by Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) tool. Any types of systematic review that summarized adverse effects related to Qigong and related therapies in human will be included. Any safety-related outcomes will be considered as the primary outcomes of this overview. Where objectives from 2 or more reviews overlap, we will assess the causes of any noted discrepancies between reviews. An overall summary of results will be performed using tabular and graphical approaches and will be supplemented by narrative description.

Results:

This overview will identify any adverse events associated with nonstandardized Qigong and related therapies procedures based on current relevant literature evidence of safety for Qigong.

Conclusion:

Our overview will provide evidence to help synthesize the broad degree of information available on furthering the knowledge, safety, and application of Qigong.

Ethics and dissemination:

Formal ethical approval is not required, as this study is an overview based on the published systematic reviews. The result of this overview of systematic reviews will be published in a peer-reviewed journal or disseminated at national and international conferences.

PROSPERO registration number:

PROSPERO CRD42018109409

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