Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Walter R. Thompson


ABSTRACT The Benefits of Yoga Therapy for Heart Failure Patients by Paula R. Pullen STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The number of patients living with heart failure (HF) is on the rise. Yoga has been found to improve physical and psychological parameters amongst healthy individuals. The effects of yoga on HF patients are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of yoga on cardio-vascular endurance [functional capacity (FC)], flexibility, inflammatory markers, and quality of life (QoL) on medically stable HF patients. METHOD Forty HF patients with compensated systolic or diastolic HF participated in the study. A randomized control design created two groups, yoga (N=21). and control (N=19).The treatment intervention consisted of 16-yoga sessions conducted bi-weekly (YG) vs. standard medical care (control- CG) for two months. All participants were asked to follow a home walk program. Pre- and post-study measurements included a treadmill stress test to peak exertion, flexibility (FLEX), girth, interleukin-6 (IL-6), c- reactive protein (CRP), and extra-cellular dismutase (EC-SOD). Quality of life was assessed by the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLwHFQ). RESULTS Forty patients were randomized to YG (N=21) or CG (N=19). The results were significant for favorable changes in the YG as compared to the CG for flexibility (P=0.012), treadmill time (P=0.002), ~VO2peak (P=0.003), and all biomarkers (IL-6, CRP, and EC-SOD) of inflammation. Within the YG, pre- to post- test scores for the total and physical sub- scale of the MLwHFQ were significant (P=0.02 and P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS Yoga therapy offered additional benefits to the standard medical care of HF patients by improving QoL, exercise capacity, FLEX, and biomarkers of inflammation


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Kinesiology Commons