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Table 1 Characteristics of studies that fulfilled inclusion criteria

From: Does Chinese calligraphy therapy reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Study Inclusion criteria No. of patients Treatment duration Ages (yrs) (mean ± SD) Main measurement scale Intervention
Luo 2000 [14] Military college students P: 31
C: 24
30 days 23.9 SCL-90 Calligraphy
Cui 2003 [11] Senior college students P: 60
C: 40
1 year P: 65.4 ± 5.25
C: 64.8 ± 8.46
SCL-90 Calligraphy and painting
Zhou B 2005 [15] Grade 3 elementary school students P: 87
C: 37
2 years CPQ Calligraphy
Zhou GQ 2005 [16] Patients with schizophrenia P: 15
C: 21
20 weeks P: 49.67 ± 6.9
C: 53.33 ± 6.64
PANSS
TESS
Calligraphy
Dong 2006 [17] Patients with anxiety P: 28
C: 27
8 weeks P: 32.4 ± 7.8
C: 30.5 ± 8.6
HAMA
SAS, CGI
Calligraphy
Zhao 2006 [18] Patients with chronic schizophrenia P: 48
C: 50
8 weeks P: 25 ± 8.6
C: 24 ± 7.8
SCL-90 Calligraphy
Guo 2007 [19] Schizophrenic inpatients P: 30
C: 30
2 months P: 31.3 ± 11.6
C: 32.3 ± 11.7
SAS, SDS Music, calligraphy, painting, and dancing
Zeng 2007 [20] Patients with generalized anxiety P: 34
C: 34
8 weeks P: 32.49 ± 8.2
C: 33.2 ± 8.3
HAMA
SAS
Calligraphy
Zheng 2008 [21] Patients with depression P: 31
C: 30
6 weeks P: 37.5 ± 12.5
C: 36.6 ± 12.8
HAMA
HAMD
Calligraphy
Li 2010 [22] Schizophrenic inpatients P: 30
C: 30
8 weeks P: 32.6 ± 11.3
C: 32.1 ± 11.2
BPRS
SANS
Calligraphy and painting
Yang 2010 [12] NPC patients P: 24
C: 29
4 weeks 49.63 ± 10.81 SDS
POMS SF
Three groups: relaxation, calligraphy, and control
Zhou 2010 [23] Schizophrenic inpatients P: 30
C: 30
3 months 40.38 ± 11.20 BPRS
SANS
Calligraphy and painting
Kwok 2011 [13] Older people with MCI P: 14
C: 17
8 weeks P: 85.79 ± 4.93
C: 85.76 ± 6.93
CMMSE Calligraphy
Tian 2012 [24] Patients with chronic schizophrenia P: 60
C: 60
6 months 36.21 ± 2.54 BPRS Occupational therapy, fine art, and calligraphy
Zhang 2012 [25] Schizophrenic inpatients P: 30
C: 30
12 months PANSS Calligraphy and painting
Dong 2013 [26] Patients with chronic schizophrenia P: 35
C: 34
12 weeks P: 32 ± 7
C: 31 ± 9
SCL-90
PANSS
Calligraphy or drawing
Xu 2013 [27] Undergraduate students P: 8
C: 8
10 days EEG-theta waves Calligraphy
Zhou 2013 [28] Grade 3 to 4 elementary school students P: 101
C: 69
2 school years P: 8.60 ± 0.55
C: 8.59 ± 0.41
PANAC-c
CERO-k
Calligraphy
Zhu 2014 [29] Children with hyperarousal symptoms P: 64
C: 38
30 days P: 10.52 ± 1.16
C: 10.54 ± 1.15
Salivary cortisol level Calligraphy
P: 129
C: 81
P: 10.51 ± 1.15
C: 10.52 ± 1.13
CRIES
Tai 2016 [8] Patients with AD P: 14
C: 10
6 weeks P: 70.21 ± 7.9
C: 76.3 ± 7.03
CDR-SB
TC MMSE, GDS-S
Tai-chi, calligraphy, and drawing
Chan 2016 [30] Individuals with MCI P: 14
C: 16
8 weeks P: 65.9 ± 5.0
C: 66.4 ± 3.65
Reaction time on the Chinese and digit 2-back and detection tasks Calligraphy
  1. Abbreviations: SCL-90 Symptom Checklist 90, CPQ Children’s Personality Questionnaire, PANSS Positive and Negative Symptom Scale, TESS Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale, HAMA Hamilton Anxiety Scale, SAS Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, CGI Clinical Global Impression Scale, SDS Symptom Distress Scale, HAMD Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, POMS SF Profile of Mood State - Short Form, BPRS The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, SANS Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, CMMSE Chinese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination, EEG electroencephalogram, PANAC-c Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children, CERO-k Child version of the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, CRIES Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale, CDR-SB Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes, TC MMSE Traditional Chinese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination, GDS-S Geriatric Depression Scale, SD standard deviation, NPC nasopharyngeal carcinoma, AD Alzheimer’s disease, MCI mild cognitive impairment, P patient or experiment, C control, *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01