Article Text


AB1440-HPR Yoga-therapy for rheumatoid arthritis: rapid improvement in proms
  1. V Sadana1,
  2. T. Cartwright1,
  3. M. Cahill1,
  4. K. Anie1,
  5. C.B. Colaço2
  1. 1CMH, LNWHT
  2. 2LNWH NHS Trust, Rheumatology Unit, CMH, LNWUH NHS Trust, London, UK


Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is associated with mood disorders and poor quality of life (QOL) Chorus et al., 2003 Yoga therapy (Y-T) has been used in several Long Term Conditions. Khalsa et al, 2016.

Objectives This study investigated: a) impact of a 16 week Y-T intervention on functional outcomes and QOL in 10 adult-onset RA patients, b) acceptability and experiences of the intervention.

Methods Ten adult RA patients (Ages: 29–71 Y; RA duration: 1–15 years) consented to 10 individual Y-T sessions (weekly ×4; biweekly ×6) with a yoga therapist in a standard consulting room. The intervention was tailored to the needs and abilities of each patient and included: breath-centred physical yoga postures, breathing and visualisation techniques, mantras and meditation, and Lifestyle/behavioural strategies. All participants completed measures to assess changes in health pre- and post-intervention (EQ-5D and HADS) and took part in a semi-structured interview in a mixed methods design. Thematic analysis was applied to interview data.

Results 98/100 sessions were attended by participants.

Abstract AB1440HPR – Table 1

Pre-Post 10 sessions Y-T metrics

Qualitative findings indicated that considerable value was placed on the therapeutic function of the consultation, of being listened to and receiving advice on concerns. Therapeutic mechanisms appeared to reflect tailored physical practices alongside psychosocial techniques which promoted psychological wellbeing and increased perceptions of control and self-efficacy. Several reported reductions in their medication and broader benefits such as improved sleep, mood and energy. All but one participant reported positive changes to their RA symptoms, including pain reduction, greater mobility and joint flexibility.

Conclusions This novel pilot YT intervention was positively received by patients with RA, with high levels of adherence to both the course of treatments and the tailored home practice. The results suggest that yoga therapy has potential as an adjunct therapy to improve RA symptoms, increase self-care behaviours and address negative mood. Whilst promising, a larger multi-centre study is required to evaluate the therapeutic and cost-effectiveness of Y-T.

References [1] Chorus AM, Miedema HS, Boonen A, Van Der Linden S. (2003). Quality of life and work in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis of working age. Ann Rheum Dis. 62(12):1178–1184.

[2] Khalsa, SB, Cohen, L, McCall, T & Telles, S (2016) (Eds). The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. Handspring Publishing.

Acknowledgements LNWH Trust Fund, CMH Rheumatology Patient Support Group,University of Westminster Department of Health Psychology.

Disclosure of Interest V. Sadana Grant/research support from: Study Charity Grant NWLHT, T. Cartwright: None declared, M. Cahill: None declared, K. Anie: None declared, C. B. Colaço: None declared

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.