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Feasibility and acceptability of restorative yoga for treatment of hot flushes: A pilot trial

  • Beth E. Cohen
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: San Francisco VA Medical Center, General Internal Medicine Section (111A1), 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121-1598, United States. Tel.: +1 415 750 2093; fax: +1 415 379 5573.
    Affiliations
    General Internal Medicine Section, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CA, United States

    Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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  • Alka M. Kanaya
    Affiliations
    Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States

    Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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  • Judith L. Macer
    Affiliations
    Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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  • Hui Shen
    Affiliations
    Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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  • A. Ann Chang
    Affiliations
    Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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  • Deborah Grady
    Affiliations
    General Internal Medicine Section, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CA, United States

    Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
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      Abstract

      Objective

      To determine the feasibility and acceptability of a restorative yoga intervention for the treatment of hot flushes in postmenopausal women.

      Methods

      A pilot trial in 14 postmenopausal women experiencing ≥4 moderate to severe hot flushes per day or ≥30 moderate to severe hot flushes per week. The intervention consisted of eight restorative yoga poses taught in a 3-h introductory session and 8 weekly 90-min sessions. Feasibility was measured by recruitment rates, subject retention and adherence. Acceptability was assessed by subject interview and questionnaires. Efficacy measures included change in frequency and severity of hot flushes as recorded on a 7-day diary.

      Results

      Recruitment was accomplished as planned. The majority of study subjects (93%) completed the trial. Of those who completed the trial, 92% attended seven or more of the eight yoga sessions. The majority of the subjects were satisfied with the study and 75% continued to practice yoga 3 months after the study. Mean number of hot flushes per week decreased by 30.8% (95% CI 15.6-45.9%) and mean hot flush score decreased 34.2% (95% CI 16.0-52.5%) from baseline to week 8. No adverse events were observed.

      Conclusions

      This pilot trial demonstrates that it is feasible to teach restorative yoga to middle-aged women without prior yoga experience. The high rates of subject retention and satisfaction suggest that yoga is an acceptable intervention in this population. Our results indicate that a larger, randomized controlled trial to explore the efficacy of restorative yoga for treatment of menopausal symptoms would be safe and feasible.

      Keywords

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      References

      1. The United States Census Bureau. National Population Estimates. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2004/NC-EST2004-02.xls. Accessed January 2, 2006.

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