Yoga for the management of pain and sleep in rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

Author: Ward L1,2, Stebbings S2, Athens J3, Cherkin D4, David Baxter G1
1School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
2Department of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
3Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
4Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
Conference/Journal: Musculoskeletal Care.
Date published: 2017 Jun 16
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/msc.1201. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 258

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to determine the feasibility of a relaxation-based yoga intervention for rheumatoid arthritis, designed and reported in accordance with Delphi recommendations for yoga interventions for musculoskeletal conditions.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from a hospital database, and randomized to either eight weekly 75-min yoga classes or a usual care control. Feasibility was determined by recruitment rates, retention, protocol adherence, participant satisfaction and adverse events. Secondary physical and psychosocial outcomes were assessed using self-reported questionnaires at baseline (week 0), week 9 (primary time point) and week 12 (follow-up).

RESULTS: Over a 3-month period, 26 participants with mild pain, mild to moderate functional disability and moderate disease activity were recruited into the study (25% recruitment rate). Retention rates were 100% for yoga participants and 92% for usual care participants at both weeks 9 and 12. Protocol adherence and participant satisfaction were high. Yoga participants attended a median of seven classes; additionally, seven of the yoga participants (54%) reported continuing yoga at home during the follow-up period. No serious adverse events were related to the study. Secondary outcomes showed no group effects of yoga compared with usual care.

CONCLUSIONS: A relaxation-based yoga programme was found to be feasible and safe for participants with rheumatoid arthritis-related pain and functional disability. Adverse events were minor, and not unexpected from an intervention including physical components. This pilot provides a framework for larger intervention studies, and supports further exploration of yoga as a complex intervention to assist with the management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEYWORDS: RCT; complementary medicine; rheumatoid arthritis; yoga

PMID: 28621011 DOI: 10.1002/msc.1201