Yoga for Treating Shortness of Breath in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: January 16, 2003
Last updated: August 16, 2006
Last verified: August 2006
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of yoga in reducing shortness of breath in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patients in this study must have moderate to severe COPD and be primarily limited by shortness of breath.

Condition Intervention Phase
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Pulmonary Emphysema
Chronic Bronchitis
Behavioral: yoga
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of Yoga for Self-Management of Dyspnea in COPD

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 36
Study Start Date: January 2003
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2004
Detailed Description:

Management of dyspnea (shortness of breath) is a major concern for patients with COPD. The efficacy of complementary exercises to manage dyspnea is unknown. Complementary exercises may be more congruent with patients' lifestyles and values than traditional exercise programs and can be adapted to changes in illness severity and disability. Yoga practice is a complementary therapy that people use to manage their dyspnea. The aims of this study are to: 1) develop a safe and feasible yoga program for patients with COPD; 2) test the efficacy of this program; and 3) determine whether physical performance, psychological well being, and health-related quality of life are positively affected by yoga practice.

Patients in this study will be randomized to receive yoga training or usual care for 12 weeks. Patients will be evaluated at study entry, after each session, and immediately after the training program.


Ages Eligible for Study:   40 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion criteria:

  • Able to commit to a 12-week yoga class in San Francisco, California
  • Moderate to severe COPD, clinically stable for at least 1 month prior to study entry
  • Forced Expiratory Volume at one minute (FEV1) < 49% predicted after inhaled bronchodilator
  • Activities of daily living limited by shortness of breath
  • Ability to speak English and sign consent
  • Patients receiving supplemental oxygen will be acceptable if their O2 saturation can be maintained at > 85% on < 6 L/min of nasal oxygen

Exclusion criteria:

  • Symptomatic illness (e.g., cancer, left heart failure, ischemic heart disease, neuromuscular disease, psychiatric illness)
  • Formal pulmonary rehabilitation training within 1 year prior to study entry
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00051792

United States, California
University of California
San Francisco, California, United States
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Virginia Carrieri-Kohlman, RN, DNSc University of California, San Francisco
  More Information Identifier: NCT00051792     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT001168-01 
Study First Received: January 16, 2003
Last Updated: August 16, 2006
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Bronchitis, Chronic
Chronic Disease
Lung Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Emphysema
Bronchial Diseases
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections processed this record on May 02, 2016