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  1. Y. Acar1,
  2. N. Ilcin2,
  3. İ. Sari3
  1. 1Dokuz Eylül University Institute of Health Sciences, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, İzmir, Turkey
  2. 2Dokuz Eylül Üniversite Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Yüksek Okulu, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, İzmir, Turkey
  3. 3Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Hastanesi, Rheumatology and Immunology, İzmir, Turkey


Background Yoga is an ancient discipline that emerged thousandans of years ago in India to unite the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is widely used by patients with various rheumatic diseases. Although it is recommended for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients, there is no randomized controlled study on this subject in the literature. Due to Covid-19, which has changed the world and the people’s lifestyle, tele-yoga practice can be considered as an alternative to traditional face-to-face yoga classes. The use of online platforms provides a safe environment for yoga training at home.

Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of tele-yoga on disease activity, functional status, spinal mobility, sleep quality, depression, anxiety, stress and quality of life in ankylosing spondylitis patients.

Methods Thirty-six volunteer AS patients (21 male, 15 female) who applied to Dokuz Eylül University, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology were included in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to a tele-yoga (n=18, mean age 43.22 ±8.54 years) or waiting-list control group (n=18, mean age 44.9 ±8.01 years) by block randomization method. Patients in the tele-yoga group participated in 1-hour tele- yoga sessions with a maximum of 5 people in each group using Zoom (online video-conference method) 3 days a week for 8 weeks. Assessments were performed before and after 8 weeks of yoga training. The waiting list control group did not receive any intervention, participants were advised to maintain their usual activities and continue their routine medical treatments. Assessments were performed at baseline and after an 8-week waiting period. After assessments, patients who wished participated the tele-yoga program. The following inventory was used for assessment: Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) for disease activity, Bath AS Functional Index (BASFI) for functionality, Bath AS Mobility Index (BASMI) for spinal mobility, ASAS Health Index, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Short Form-36 (SF-36), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).

Results The groups were similar at baseline in terms of age, height, weight, body mass index, gender and physical activity level (p>0.05). While all parameters improved significantly in the tele-yoga group (p<0.05), no change was observed in the control group after 8 weeks (p>0.05). When the changes in the tele-yoga group and the control group were compared, the improvements in the BASDAI, BASFI, BASMI, ASAS Health Index, SF-36 Physical Function, SF-36 Role Physical, SF-36-Bodily Pain, PSQI and PSS were found to be statistically significant in the tele-yoga group (p<0.05).

Conclusion According to our preliminary results, tele-yoga is beneficial in reducing disease activity and stress, improving functional level, spinal mobility, sleep quality and quality of life. Due to its therapeutic effects, tele-yoga can be considered as an alternative approach for AS patients.

Disclosure of Interests None declared

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