Vol. 4, Issue 6 (2019)
Scoping review of yoga-based interventions for Parkinson’s disease
Author(s): Taj Haider, Manoj Sharma
Abstract: Today, over 10 million people are living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Research suggests this number will double by 2040. Although neurological in nature, negative psychological comorbidities emerge in PD patients as a result of progressive physical incapacitation characterized by tremors, slowness in initiating movements, rigidity, and postural instability. The literature suggests numerous benefits of exercise on PD outcomes; however, there is a dearth of research related to PD and yoga, despite evidence of its utility with other chronic diseases, including back pain, depression, and heart disease. The purpose of this study was to retrieve and examine yoga interventions tested for efficacy in Parkinson’s disease and provide collective evidence. A search of studies in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Google Scholar databases was conducted. The inclusion criteria included: (1) studies published in peer-reviewed journals; (2) time period between January 2015 and January 2020; (3) describing the evaluation of interventions; and (4) quantitative or mixed methods studies. Excluded were studies that were not in the specified time period or from specified databases, descriptions, qualitative accounts, protocols, periodicals, or from the grey literature. A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria (n=11). The majority of interventions reporting testing unspecified yoga (n=5), one Hatha yoga (n=1), one Power yoga (n=1), one Laughter Yoga (n=1), one Iyengar yoga (n=1), one high-speed yoga (n=1), and one mindfulness yoga (n=1). The most common duration of the interventions was 12 weeks (n=6) with one study holding one session (n=1), two lasting eight weeks (n=2), one for six months (n=1), and one for nine months (n=1). The most common evaluation design was the randomized controlled trial (n=8), followed by two quasi-experimental (n=2), and one pre-test post-test design (n=1). The most common outcome measure was the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (n=6). All interventions reported improvements in either the physical or psychological comorbidities associated with PD. Based on this review, it can be concluded that yoga is a promising complementary mind-body approach for managing PD, with the possibility of slowing its progression and improving the maintenance of physical abilities of patients suffering from PD. Randomized control trials with large sample sizes that evaluate the physical and psychological effects of PD are recommended for further study.