Background & objectives: Improving quality of life (QOL) of healthy people living with HIV (PLHIV) is critical needing home-based, long-term strategy. Sudarshan Kriya yoga (SKY) intervention is acknowledged for its positive impact on health. It is hypothesised that SKY would improve PLHIV's QOL, justifying an evaluation.
Methods: In this open label randomized controlled pilot trial, 61 adult PLHIV with CD4 count more than 400 cells/µl and Karnofsky scale score above 70 were enrolled. Those with cardiac disease, jaundice, tuberculosis, or on antiretroviral therapy/yoga intervention were excluded. All were given standard care, randomized to SKY intervention (31: I-SKY) and only standard of care in control (30: O-SOC) arms. The I-SKY participants were trained for six days to prepare for daily practice of SKY at home for 30 min. A validated 31-item WHOQOL-HIVBREF questionnaire was used to document effect in both arms from baseline to three visits at 4 wk interval.
Results: Baseline QOL scores, hypertension and CD4 count were similar in both arms. An overall 6 per cent improvement of QOL scores was observed in I-SKY group as compared to O-SOC group, after controlling for baseline variables like age, gender, education and occupation ( p =0.016); 12 per cent for physical ( p =0.004), 11 per cent psychological (p =0.023) and 9 per cent level of independence (p =0.001) domains. Improvement in I-SKY observed at post-training and in the SKY adherence group showed increase in these two domains.
Conclusions: A significant improvement in QOL scores was observed for the three health related QOL domains in SKY intervention arm. This low cost strategy improved physical and psychological state of PLHIV calling for upscaling with effective monitoring for sustainability of quality of life.