Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga for Chronic Poststroke Hemiparesis: Motor Function, Mental Health, and Quality of Life Outcomes

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Abstract

Purpose:

To assess the efficacy of yoga for motor function, mental health, and quality of life outcomes in persons with chronic poststroke hemiparesis.

Method:

Twenty-two individuals participated in a randomized controlled trial involving assessment of task-orientated function, balance, mobility, depression, anxiety, and quality of life domains before and after either a 10-week yoga intervention (n = 11) or no treatment (n = 11).

Results:

The yoga intervention did not result in any significant improvements in objective motor function measures, however there was a significant improvement in quality of life associated with perceived motor function (P = .0001) and improvements in perceived recovery approached significance (P = .072). Memory-related quality of life scores signifi cantly improved after yoga intervention (P = .022), and those participating in the intervention exhibited clinically relevant decreases in state and trait anxiety.

Conclusions:

Preliminary results offer promise for yoga as an intervention to address mental health and quality of life in persons with stroke-related activity limitations. There is a need to more rigorously evaluate these yoga benefits with a larger randomized controlled trial, which, based on this preliminary trial, is feasible.

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