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Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis

This study has been completed.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Susan Bartlett, Johns Hopkins University Identifier:
First received: July 6, 2006
Last updated: September 8, 2014
Last verified: September 2014
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of yoga on inflammatory arthritis and knee osteoarthritis.

Condition Intervention Phase
Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoarthritis Behavioral: yoga Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Yoga for Persons With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Susan Bartlett, Johns Hopkins University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Physical Health [ Time Frame: baseline, post intervention, follow-up ]
    Assessed using SF36 Physical Component Score

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Mobility/Fitness [ Time Frame: baseline, posttest, follow-up ]
    Change in flexibility, balance, strength, walk time

  • RA Disease Activity [ Time Frame: baseline, post intervention, follow-up ]
    DAS28 CRP score

  • Psychological Function [ Time Frame: baseline, , posttest, follow-up ]
    Change in SF36 MCS, CES-D, PANAS, Perceived Stress and Arthritis Self Efficacy

  • HRQL [ Time Frame: baseline, post intervention, follow-up ]
    Change in SF36 domains

Enrollment: 75
Study Start Date: August 2006
Study Completion Date: August 2011
Primary Completion Date: August 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
8-week yoga program
Behavioral: yoga
8-week yoga program.
No Intervention: 2
Usual care control

Detailed Description:

Yoga is a set of ancient Indian theories and practices, focusing on unifying mind, body, and spirit, and promoting strength, balance, and flexibility. The physical aspect of yoga includes poses, breathing techniques, and relaxation. Inflammatory arthritis, a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints, can cause long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function, and disability.

The primary objective of this study is to learn how people with inflammatory arthritis and knee osteoarthritis respond to an exercise program of yoga. To accomplish this, 30 persons with inflammatory arthritis or knee osteoarthritis will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group one will begin an immediate 8-week program of yoga classes consisting of 60-minute sessions, twice a week. Group two, or the "waitlist" control group, will receive 8 weeks of arthritis education followed by the same 8-week yoga program as group one. Participants also will have blood drawn, and complete various tests. The yoga classes will be taught by an experienced, certified yoga instructor, and are designed especially for the needs of people with inflammatory arthritis and knee osteoarthritis.

This study will provide important data on integrating mind-body activities into the treatment of inflammatory arthritis and knee osteoarthritis.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 18+ (RA only upper age limit 70)
  • Confirmed or probable OA (using pre-specified criteria) OR Rheumatoid arthritis (participation approved by rheumatologist)
  • Currently sedentary (physically active for 20 min < 3times/week)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to ambulate without use of assistive device
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure or existing heart condition
  • Co-morbid inflammatory condition with overlapping symptoms (i.e., fibromyalgia)
  • Surgery within 6 months
  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: NCT00349869

United States, Maryland
Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, 5501 Hopkins-Bayview Circle, Ste 1B.14
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21224
Sponsors and Collaborators
Johns Hopkins University
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Susan J. Bartlett, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Rheumatology
  More Information

Additional Information:
Haaz S, Bingham CO, Bathon JM, Bartlett SJ. The effect of yoga on clinical parameters in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism 2008;58:S893-S4.
Haaz S, Bingham III CO, Bartlett SJ. Adherence to an 8-week yoga program for RA and OA: Who drops out and why? Arthritis & Rheumatism 2009;60:1978.

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Susan Bartlett, Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Identifier: NCT00349869     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00346307
Other Study ID Numbers: F31AT003362-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R21NS048593 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: July 6, 2006
Last Updated: September 8, 2014

Keywords provided by Susan Bartlett, Johns Hopkins University:
inflammatory arthritis
rheumatoid arthritis
knee osteoarthritis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Joint Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases processed this record on September 21, 2017