Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder marked by progressive degenerative motor symptoms (e.g., tremors, impaired balance and gait) and nonmotor symptoms (e.g., fatigue, sleep disturbances, pain) that can negatively influence health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies have shown that yoga for individuals with PD improves balance, strength, and mobility. However, little research has been conducted to determine the effect of yoga on nonmotor symptoms of PD. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in nonmotor symptoms among individuals with PD following an 8-week yoga intervention. Data used for analyses were part of a larger study that researched improvements in motor function for individuals with PD. Participants (N = 27) were randomly assigned to experimental (n = 15) and control (n = 12) groups and completed pre- and postintervention quantitative measures. Within-group improvements were statistically significant for fatigue measured by the Parkinson's Fatigue Scale, balance confidence measured by the Activities Balance Confidence Scale, the belief in one's ability to manage falls measured by the Falls Management Scale, activity constraints measured by the Activities Constraint Questionnaire, and PD-specific quality of life measured by the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-8. Across-group changes were statistically significant for activity constraints. Findings indicate yoga may be an efficacious intervention for improving nonmotor symptoms as well as HRQoL for individuals with PD.

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