Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2157-7595


Restorative Yoga for Symptom Management in Fibromyalgia: Results of an 8-week Intervention

Tamara G Fischer-White, Joel G Anderson, Janet E Lewis, Karen M Rose and Ann Gill Taylor

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of an 8-week restorative yoga intervention and to collect preliminary data on its effects on the fibromyalgia-related symptoms of chronic widespread pain, sleep disturbance, and fatigue, and health-related quality of life.

In a mixed methods, single-arm, feasibility study, participants completed pre- and post-intervention semi-structured interviews and self-report assessments at baseline, weeks 4 and 8, and at a 1-month follow-up telephone interview.

Results: In this group of participants (N = 12), recruitment, retention, and adherence rates were comparable to those of other fibromyalgia yoga studies: recruitment 57.14%; retention 75%; adherence to group class 87.5%; and home practice adherence 93.33%. A ratio of 1:2 yoga instructor to participants was required for the five-posture 90-minute class sequence as compared with a ratio of 1-2:10-25 yoga instructors to study participants reported in other fibromyalgia yoga studies. Statistically significant trends and minimal clinically important differences were found at week 8 when comparing participant baseline to week 8 self-report questionnaire scores for the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire total score (p = 0.01; 18.51%), the Pain Numeric Rating Scale for the subscales pain now (p = 0.04; 36.36%) and average pain over the past week (p = 0.04; 19.61%), the General Sleep Disturbance Scale total score (p = 0.04; 17.40%), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index total score (p = 0.02; 27.06%).

Conclusion: Although the 8-week, five-posture, 90-minute restorative yoga group class was found not to be feasible as a symptom self-management strategy in this study, the findings support the need for further investigation of the home practice format. Future longitudinal, randomized, controlled trials of a restorative yoga home practice format to establish intervention efficacy and symptom-self management potential as well as those examining restorative yoga intervention resource utilization in persons with fibromyalgia are recommended