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Randomized controlled trial of yoga for chronic poststroke hemiparesis: motor function, mental health, and quality of life outcomes.


To assess the efficacy of yoga for motor function, mental health, and quality of life outcomes in persons with chronic poststroke hemiparesis.Twenty-two individuals participated in a randomized controlled trial involving assessment of task-orientated function, balance, mobility, depression, anxiety, and quality of life domains before and after either a 10-week yoga intervention (n = 11) or no treatment (n = 11).The yoga intervention did not result in any significant improvements in objective motor function measures, however there was a significant improvement in quality of life associated with perceived motor function (P = .0001) and improvements in perceived recovery approached significance (P = .072). Memory-related quality of life scores significantly improved after yoga intervention (P = .022), and those participating in the intervention exhibited clinically relevant decreases in state and trait anxiety.Preliminary results offer promise for yoga as an intervention to address mental health and quality of life in persons with stroke-related activity limitations. There is a need to more rigorously evaluate these yoga benefits with a larger randomized controlled trial, which, based on this preliminary trial, is feasible.