Effects of mind–body interventions on depressive symptoms among older Chinese adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ai Bo, Weiyu Mao, Michael A. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the efficacy of mind–body interventions in depressive symptoms treatment among older Chinese adults (>60 years of age). Methods: We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Data, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, and Chongqing VIP for eligible studies until September 2016. We reviewed randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of mind–body interventions for depressive symptoms among Chinese older adults. Two authors independently conducted screening, and risk of bias assessment. Data were extracted by one author and crosschecked by the research team. Cohen's d standardized mean differences were calculated to represent intervention effects. Results: A comprehensive search yielded 926 records; 14 articles met inclusion criteria. Relative to the control groups, mind–body interventions had large short-term effects in reducing depressive symptoms in older Chinese adults (standardized mean differences = −1.41; 95% CI [−1.82, −0.99]). Most studies did not report the long-term effects of mind–body interventions. Subgroup analyses by type of mind–body interventions, participants' age group, and control condition yielded different effect sizes; however, these differences did not all reach a statistically significant level. The interpretation of the subgroup analysis should be considered with caution given its observational nature and a small number of included studies. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests that mind–body interventions had short-term effects in alleviating depressive symptoms among older Chinese adults. Further research (randomized controlled trials with active controls and follow-up tests) are needed to assess the effects of mind–body interventions on depressive symptoms among this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-521
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • complementary and alternative interventions
  • depression
  • meta-analysis
  • randomized controlled trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of mind–body interventions on depressive symptoms among older Chinese adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this