Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials on the effects of yoga in people with Parkinson's disease

Disabil Rehabil. 2022 Oct;44(21):6210-6229. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1966522. Epub 2021 Sep 17.


Purpose: Yoga may be a beneficial treatment for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, no studies have critically reviewed and meta-analyzed the scientific evidence for yoga's benefits regarding motor and non-motor symptoms. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of yoga as a rehabilitation strategy for PD.

Materials and methods: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a literature search was performed using MEDLINE/PubMed, PEDro, SPORTDiscus, and Scopus. Studies addressing any concepts on the impact of yoga intervention on physical and psychological outcomes in people with PD were included.

Results: Fourteen RCTs were selected, with heterogeneous protocols and outcomes measures. Yoga interventions were safe and well-accepted for patients with mild to moderate PD. The descriptive analysis indicated that its practice might provide both physical and psychological benefits. Preliminary evidence showed that yoga has comparable or superior efficacy to exercise. A subsequent meta-analysis on five RCTs detected that yoga was more effective than passive control in ameliorating motor symptoms.

Conclusions: Yoga appears to be a promising rehabilitative therapy for individuals with PD. Recommendations are proposed for future studies.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONYoga is a safe and feasible therapy for people with mild to moderate PD.Yoga practice positively impacts physical and mental health in this population.When compared to exercise, yoga showed to have similar or even greater effects.

Keywords: Parkinson; Yoga; exercise; motor symptoms; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Parkinson Disease* / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Yoga*