Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Designing, Validation and Feasibility of a Yoga-Based Intervention for Elderly

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Designing, Validation and Feasibility of a Yoga-Based Intervention for Elderly

Article excerpt

Byline: V. Hariprasad, S. Varambally, P. Varambally, J. Thirthalli, I. Basavaraddi, B. Gangadhar

Context: Ageing is an unavoidable facet of life. Yogic practices have been reported to promote healthy aging. Previous studies have used either yoga therapy interventions derived from a particular school of yoga or have tested specific yogic practices like meditation. Aims: This study reports the development, validation and feasibility of a yoga-based intervention for elderly with or without mild cognitive impairment. Settings and Design: The study was conducted at the Advanced Centre for Yoga, National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore. The module was developed, validated, and then pilot-tested on volunteers. Materials and Methods: The first part of the study consisted of designing of a yoga module based on traditional and contemporary yogic literature. This yoga module along with the three case vignettes of elderly with cognitive impairment were sent to 10 yoga experts to help develop the intended yoga-based intervention. In the second part, the feasibility of the developed yoga-based intervention was tested. Results: Experts (n=10) opined the yoga-based intervention will be useful in improving cognition in elderly, but with some modifications. Frequent supervised yoga sessions, regular follow-ups, addition/deletion/modifications of yoga postures were some of the suggestions. Ten elderly consented and eight completed the pilot testing of the intervention. All of them were able to perform most of the Sukṣmavyay?ma, Pr?ṇ?y?ma and N?d?nusaṇdh?na (meditation) technique without difficulty. Some of the participants ( n=3) experienced difficulty in performing postures seated on the ground. Most of the older adults experienced difficulty in remembering and completing entire sequence of yoga-based intervention independently. Conclusions: The yoga based intervention is feasible in the elderly with cognitive impairment. Testing with a larger sample of older adults is warranted.

Introduction

The elderly population in India is estimated to grow from 71 million in 2001 to 179 million in 2031. [sup][1] Epidemiological studies on Indian population concur that more than 50% of the elderly above 60 years of age suffer from chronic medical conditions and its prevalence increases with age. [sup][2] Health problems especially cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and hypertension are the widely prevalent while arthritis was mostly prevalent in women. [sup][3] Depression was the most common psychiatric disorder followed by dementia in the elderly. [sup][4] Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional state between normal ageing and dementia. MCI is considered to be a pre-Alzheimer's Dementia state with 10-15% of the elderly with MCI converting to Alzheimer's Dementia annually. [sup][5] Presence of vascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, increased levels of cholesterol; neuropsychiatric conditions such as psychosis, depression, chronic psychological distress [sup][6],[7],[8],[9] are implicated in the development of MCI.

Yogic practices have been reported to promote healthy aging. [sup][10],[11] Yoga-based interventions are known to improve gait and balance, flexibility and mood in the elderly. [sup][12],[13] Most of the previous studies have used either yoga therapy interventions derived from a particular school of yoga or have tested individual yogic practices such as meditation in the elderly. [sup][12],[13],[1],[4],[15] Chen et al . (2007) reported development and feasibility of a yoga-based program for elderly living in community homes. The yoga module used in this study was aimed at improving general health and quality-of-life in elderly. [sup][15] The current study reports the development, validation and testing of a yoga-based intervention developed from the traditional literature for the elderly with or without MCI. We also chose such practices that the elderly could practice without difficulty as per our judgment. …

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