Research: TEW and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 272

Abstract

TEW and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Northumbria University, Northumberland Building, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK. garry.tew@northumbria.ac.uk ; 2. Yorkshire Yoga & Therapy Centre, Knaresborough, Harrogate, HG5 0TG, UK; 3. Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Northumbria University, Northumberland Building, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK conducted a randomised controlled pilot trial to evaluate adapted yoga to improve physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults.

Background

Yoga is a holistic therapy of expanding popularity, which has the potential to produce a range of physical, mental and social benefits. This trial evaluated the feasibility and effects of an adapted yoga programme on physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults.

Methodology

In this randomized controlled pilot trial, 52 older adults (90% female; mean age 74.8 years, SD 7.2) were randomized 1:1 to a yoga programme or wait-list control. The yoga group (n = 25) received a physical activity education booklet and were invited to attend ten yoga sessions during a 12-week period. The control group (n = 27) received the education booklet only. Measures of physical function (e.g., Short Physical Performance Battery; SPPB), health status (EQ-5D) and mental well-being (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale; WEMWBS) were assessed at baseline and 3 months. Feasibility was assessed using course attendance and adverse event data, and participant interviews.

Results

Forty-seven participants completed follow-up assessments. Median class attendance was 8 (range 3 to 10). At the 3-month follow-up, the yoga group had a higher SPPB total score compared with the control group (mean difference 0.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.3 to 2.0), a faster time to rise from a chair five times (mean difference - 1.73 s, 95% CI -4.08 to 0.62), and better performance on the chair sit-and-reach lower-limb flexibility test (mean difference 5 cm, 95% CI 0 to 10). The yoga group also had superior health status and mental well-being (vs. control) at 3 months, with mean differences in EQ-5D and WEMWBS scores of 0.12 (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.21) and 6 (95% CI, 1 to 11), respectively. The interviews indicated that participants valued attending the yoga programme, and that they experienced a range of benefits.

Conclusion

The adapted yoga programme appeared to be feasible and potentially beneficial in terms of improving mental and social well-being and aspects of physical function in physically-inactive older adults. An appropriately-powered trial is required to confirm the findings of the present study and to determine longer-term effects. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02663726 .

References

Tew GA1, Howsam J2, Hardy M3, Bissell L2. Adapted yoga to improve physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults: a randomised controlled pilot trial. BMC Geriatr.;17(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s12877-017-0520-6. Jun 23 2017.

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