Effects of Integrated Yoga Intervention on Psychopathologies and Sleep Quality Among Professional Caregivers of Older Adults With Alzheimer's Disease: A Controlled Pilot Study

Adv Mind Body Med. 2018;32(3):18-22.


Context: Providing care to patients suffering from chronic neurological problems is a stressful job. While providing care to the patients, professional caregivers experience various kinds of physical and mental challenges that affect their mental health and sleep. Yoga is a form of mind-body medicine shown to be an effective intervention in improving physical and mental health.

Objective: To examine the effects of an integrated yoga (IY) intervention on anxiety, depression, stress, and sleep quality among professional caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's disease.

Setting: This study was conducted in an Alzheimer care institution located in Bangalore City in southern India.

Participants: Participants were professional female caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's disease. Participant age range was between 20 and 50 y (mean, 34 ± 8.4 y). A total of 30 participants were enrolled in the study. Seventeen participants followed IY intervention and 13 were considered in a wait-list group.

Intervention: Participants in the IY group received a structured IY intervention comprising yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation techniques, 1 h/d, 6 d/wk, for 1 mo. Participants in the wait-list control group followed their daily activities.

Outcome measures: Blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, depression, stress, and sleep quality were assessed at baseline after 1 mo for both the groups. Data were analyzed with an appropriate statistical test using SPSS Version 16 software (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: The IY group showed significant improvement in heart rate, blood pressure, stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep quality after 1 mo compared with baseline. In contrast to the IY group, the wait-listed control group showed significant increase in anxiety, depression, and stress and significant decrease in sleep quality after 1 mo compared with baseline.

Conclusions: The present study showed the potential use of IY intervention in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. The study also suggests that IY improves sleep quality among professional caregivers. However, further studies using a randomized controlled trial method with a larger sample size and for a longer duration should be conducted to confirm the present findings.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Meditation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Yoga*