Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) as a chronic disease could affect patients' various domains of life.
Aim: This study was conducted to study the effect of yoga on the physiological indices, anxiety and social functioning of patients with MS in southwest, Iran.
Materials and methods: In this clinical trial study, 60 MS patients were enrolled according to inclusion criteria and randomly assigned to two groups of 30 each. Prior to and after intervention, the patients' vital signs were measured. For case group yoga exercises were performed three sessions a week for 12 weeks while control group performed no exercise. The data were gathered by questionnaire and analysed by descriptive and analytical statistics in SPSS.
Results: Prior to intervention, there was no significant difference in fatigue severity and pain between the two groups but the mean fatigue severity and pain in case group decreased compared to the control group after the intervention. Prior to intervention, there was no significant difference in mean physiological indices between the two groups but the mean physiological indices in case group decreased significantly after the intervention (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Yoga is likely to increase self-efficacy of MS patients through enhancing physical activity, increasing the strength of lower limbs and balance, and decreasing fatigue and pain, and finally to promote social functioning and to relieve stress and anxiety in these patients.
Keywords: Autoimmune disease; Psychiatry; Vital signs.