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Clinician Article

Yoga-based exercise improves health-related quality of life and mental well-being in older people: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.



  • Tulloch A
  • Bombell H
  • Dean C
  • Tiedemann A
Age Ageing. 2018 Jul 1;47(4):537-544. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afy044. (Review)
PMID: 29584813
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Disciplines
  • Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
    Relevance - 5/7
    Newsworthiness - 6/7
  • General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
    Relevance - 5/7
    Newsworthiness - 6/7
  • Public Health
    Relevance - 5/7
    Newsworthiness - 5/7
  • Geriatrics
    Relevance - 5/7
    Newsworthiness - 4/7

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and mental well-being are associated with healthy ageing. Physical activity positively impacts both HRQOL and mental well-being. Yoga is a physical activity that can be modified to suits the needs of older people and is growing in popularity. We conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis to determine the impact of yoga-based exercise on HRQOL and mental well-being in people aged 60+.

METHODS: searches were conducted for relevant trials in the following electronic databases; MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, PsycINFO and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) from inception to January 2017. Trials that evaluated the effect of physical yoga on HRQOL and/or on mental well-being in people aged 60+ years were included. Data on HRQOL and mental well-being were extracted. Standardised mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random effects models. Methodological quality of trials was assessed using the PEDro scale.

RESULTS: twelve trials of high methodological quality (mean PEDro score 6.1), totalling 752 participants, were identified and provided data for the meta-analysis. Yoga produced a medium effect on HRQOL (Hedges' g = 0.51, 95% CI 0.25-0.76, 12 trials) and a small effect on mental well-being (Hedges' g = 0.38, 95% CI 0.15-0.62, 12 trials).

CONCLUSION: yoga interventions resulted in small to moderate improvements in both HRQOL and mental well-being in people aged 60+ years. Further, research is needed to determine the optimal dose of yoga to maximise health impact.

PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: (CRD42016052458).


Clinical Comments

Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)

An inexpensive, low-tech intervention with positive results.

Geriatrics

An apparent good meta-analysis but with some limitations: 1) inconsistency of data (individual trials with different ways of measuring HRQOL; most of the trials were not blinded). 2) What is the clinical significance of an effect size of 0.5?.

Public Health

It's difficult to assess the utility of this, considering that it might not be intuitive to recommend yoga to every person, regardless of their motivations or underlying condition.

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