Evaluating the Addition of Hatha Yoga in Cardiac Rehabilitation

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The College of Cardiology Foundation and American Heart Association suggested different kinds of cardiac rehabilitations as risk-reduction therapy for patients that have had a cardiac event. They are wanting to focus cardiac rehabilitations on physical and psychological needs. Patients in need of cardiac rehabilitation are in need of different health needs through exercise and health education. The exercise portion helps the patient meet cardiovascular fitness with aerobic exercises, light strength training, and different kinds of stretching. On the other hand, health education is important and focused on a heart-healthy diet, medications, and emotion health (Smith et al., 2011)

Purpose/Problem being Studied

This study, done by Andrea Centrella-Nigro, Regina Gausepohl, and Deidre Treitler, was to identify if yoga is an effective cardiac rehabilitation option. To see if yoga can help a patient after a cardiac event have a quicker recovery, help with stress, and quality of life. The importance of this research is to try and help after a cardiac event with physical and/or psychological imbalance (Lewis et al., 2014). Yoga is a known therapy that is effective in improving somebody's emotional health and well-being. This is why if yoga was offered as a rehabilitation treatment then it could help improvement a person's quality of life, stress, and their recovery (Kubo, Hung, Ritterman, 2011). Overall, the purpose of this study was to see if weekly yoga classes improved perceived stress and QOL in patients in cardiac rehabilitation.

Sample Size and Population

The sample population included patients that were newly registered in phase 2 of cardiac rehabilitation after a cardiac event. They got these patients in the northeastern U.S that were in a program at a community medical center. Phase 2 was the standard of care and was the next step after discharge (Braun, Winger, & Rosenson, 2014).

In the cardiac rehabilitation center, they had hatha yoga class that held no more then 10 participants. This class would take place for 60 minutes once a week. If you do not know, hatha yoga have three different parts: medication, breathing practices, and stretching and is also less difficult then the regular yoga everybody is used to. In this case, hatha yoga encourages participants to really be focused on listening to their body and help their self-awareness.

Each patient that was entering phase 2 had a choice if they wanted to be apart of the research. They would ask if they would like to be part of the yoga, if said yes, they would be placed in the intervention group. If the answer was no, they would be placed in the non-yoga group and would do the usual care. The participants in the hatha yoga intervention group was then placed into 8 classes and the usual 36 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation. On the other hand, the usual care group would only do the 36 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation.

The sample included patients that were into the CR with valve surgery, coronary stent, stable angina, coronary bypass surgery, and HF. At the end, the sample included 40 patients in each group. the intervention group (hatha yoga) and control group (usual care) (Centrella-Nigro, Gausepohl, & Treitler, 2017). During the study these participants would complete a tool called CO-OP assessment tool which measured quality of life. These participants would fill out this tool before and after completing the programs. It measures physical function, pain, feelings, daily activities, change in health, overall health, social activities, social supports, and quality of life. (Dartmouth CO-OP, 2013). It was scored and compared in both of the groups. They also used the perceived stress scale to measure perceived stress, a pre-test and post-test that is 10 questions (Cohen & Janicki-Deverts, 2012).


The findings included that there were differences in the group. In the hatha yoga group they found that the perceived stress had a significant improvement from before they started to after. Compared to the usual-care control group that had no difference in perceived stress before and after cardiac rehabilitation. Then the hatha yoga group showed signicant difference in quality of life before and after the program compared to the control group that had no improvement (Centrella-Nigro, Gausepohl, & Treitler, 2017).


In conclusion, hatha yoga can improve quality of life (QOL) and perceived test after a cardiac event during rehabilitation. In this study, QOL and perceived stress both were improved by using hatha yoga (Centrella-Nigro, Gausepohl, & Treitler, 2017). It would be beneficial to recommend hatha yoga to a patient recovering from any kind of cardiac event and even other health disorders (Bussing et al., 2012). The findings of this study can be applied to clinical practice because it can be part of education and another option to the patients going through cardiac rehabilitation (CR) that hatha yoga has improved patients QOL and perceived stress. That it also improves their life in the future even after CR is done.

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Evaluating the Addition of Hatha yoga in Cardiac Rehabilitation. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved June 15, 2024 , from

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