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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010 May;39(5):904-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.09.018.

Iyengar yoga for young adults with rheumatoid arthritis: results from a mixed-methods pilot study.

Author information

1
Pediatric Pain Program, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA. suevans@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that often impacts patient's quality of life. For young people with RA, there is a need for rehabilitative approaches that have been shown to be safe and to lead to improved functioning.

OBJECTIVES:

This pilot study investigated the feasibility of a single-arm, group-administered, six-week, biweekly Iyengar yoga (IY) program for eight young adults with RA.

METHODS:

IY is known for its use of props, therapeutic sequences designed for patient populations, emphasis on alignment, and a rigorous teacher training. Treatment outcomes were evaluated using a mixed-methods approach that combined quantitative results from standardized questionnaires and qualitative interviews with participants.

RESULTS:

Initial attrition was 37% (n=3) after the first week because of scheduling conflicts and a prior non-RA related injury. However, the remaining participants (n=5) completed between 75% and 100% of treatment sessions (mean=95%). No adverse events were reported. The quantitative results indicated significant improvements in pain, pain disability, depression, mental health, vitality, and self-efficacy. Interviews demonstrated improvement in RA symptoms and functioning but uncertainty about whether the intervention affected pain.

CONCLUSION:

These preliminary findings indicate that IY is a feasible complementary approach for young people with RA, although larger clinical trials are needed to demonstrate safety and efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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