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Testing a yoga-based behavioral intervention as a complementary therapy for arthritis

Manoj Sharma, PhD, School of HPER, University of Nebraska at Omaha & Walden University, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68182-0216, 402-554-3245, msharma@mail.unomaha.edu and Bruce T Rowe, Nebraska Health & Human Services System, PO Box 95044, Lincoln, NE 68509.

The purpose of this study was to pilot test an innovative Social Cognitive Theory driven six-week yoga-based behavioral intervention as a complementary therapy for arthritis patients. Self-rating of pain, swelling, stiffness, and functional independence by arthritis patients from before the intervention to immediately after the intervention (6 weeks) was compared. In order to discern if the participants were indeed adhering to the yoga practices, data was collected regarding changes in self-efficacy and past week recall of yoga-related behaviors at the two time intervals. The practices in the intervention included (a) low physical impact postures (asana), (b) breathing techniques (pranayama), (c) relaxation (shava asana) and (d) meditation (dhyana). A video tape was provided to all the participants for self-practice at home. Institutional Review Board permission was obtained for the study and a total of 50 subjects were recruited who completed the intervention. A 17-item scale was used to measure self-rating by the patients of pain, swelling, stiffness, and functional independence. In addition, self-efficacy in performing yoga-related practices, performance of four yoga-related behaviors, and demographic information was also collected through the scale. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was done on all the study variables using SPSS for Windows Version 11.0. The presentation discusses the outcomes from this study and the recommendations for replication of this approach.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of this presentation the participants will be able to

    Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Arthritis

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Handout (.ppt format, 221.0 kb)

    Alternative and Complementary Health Practices and Public Health

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA