The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze and summarize the current knowledge regarding the use of yoga to manage and prevent stress and burnout in healthcare workers. In February 2017, a literature search was conducted using the databases Medline (PubMed) and Scopus. Studies that addressed this topic were included. Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. Seven studies were clinical trials that analyzed yoga interventions and evaluated effectiveness by gauging stress levels, sleep quality and quality of life. A study on Chinese nurses showed statistical improvement in stress levels following a six-month yoga program (χ2 = 16.449; p < 0.001). A population of medical students showed improvement in self-regulation values after an 11-week yoga program (from 3.49 to 3.58; p = 0.04) and in self-compassion values (from 2.88 to 3.25; p = 0.04). Four of the included articles were observational studies: They described the factors that cause stress in the work environment and highlighted that healthcare workers believe it is possible to benefit from improved physical, emotional and mental health related to yoga activity. According to the literature, yoga appears to be effective in the management of stress in healthcare workers, but it is necessary to implement methodologically relevant studies to attribute significance to such evidence.
Keywords: burnout; healthcare workers; occupational health; occupational medicine; stress management; yoga.