Investigate the effects of complementary therapies on functional capacity and quality of life among prefrail and frail older adults.
An electronic search was performed in the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, LILACS and PEDro databases for relevant articles published up to September 2019. Only randomized controlled trials with interventions involving complementary therapies for prefrail and frail older adults were included. This review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the Cochrane recommendations. The methodological quality of the selected studies was appraised using the PEDro scale and the evidence was synthesized using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) scale.
Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were selected for the present review. Six different complementary therapies were identified and the main findings were related to Tai Chi. A very low to moderate level of evidence was found regarding the effectiveness of Tai Chi in terms a functional capacity (balance, mobility, gait speed, functional reach and lower limb muscle strength) and a low level of evidence was found regarding its effect on quality of life. To the other complementary therapies it was not possible to synthetize evidence level.
Tai chi may be used as an important resource to improve functional capacity and quality of life among prefrail and frail older adults.
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