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Follow-up of Yoga of Awareness for Fibromyalgia: Results at 3 Months and Replication in the Wait-list Group

Carson, James W. PhD*; Carson, Kimberly M. MPH, eRYT; Jones, Kim D. PhD, RN, FNP†,‡; Mist, Scott D. PhD; Bennett, Robert M. MD†,‡

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31824549b5
Original Articles

Objectives: Published preliminary findings from a randomized-controlled trial suggest that an 8-week Yoga of Awareness intervention may be effective for improving symptoms, functional deficits, and coping abilities in fibromyalgia. The primary aims of this study were to evaluate the same intervention’s posttreatment effects in a wait-list group and to test the intervention’s effects at 3-month follow-up in the immediate treatment group.

Methods: Unpaired t tests were used to compare data from a per protocol sample of 21 women in the immediate treatment group who had completed treatment and 18 women in the wait-list group who had completed treatment. Within-group paired t tests were performed to compare posttreatment data with 3-month follow-up data in the immediate treatment group. The primary outcome measure was the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Revised (FIQR). Multilevel random-effects models were also used to examine associations between yoga practice rates and outcomes.

Results: Posttreatment results in the wait-list group largely mirrored results seen at posttreatment in the immediate treatment group, with the FIQR Total Score improving by 31.9% across the 2 groups. Follow-up results showed that patients sustained most of their posttreatment gains, with the FIQR Total Score remaining 21.9% improved at 3 months. Yoga practice rates were good, and more practice was associated with more benefit for a variety of outcomes.

Discussion: These findings indicate that the benefits of Yoga of Awareness in fibromyalgia are replicable and can be maintained.

*Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

School of Nursing

Department of Medicine, Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Supported by a grant from the Oregon Health & Science University Medical Research Foundation, Portland, OR, and resources supplied by the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation, Portland, OR. Kimberly M. Carson is a professional yoga teacher. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: James W. Carson, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., CH4P, Portland, OR 97239-3011 (e-mail:

Received June 21, 2011

Accepted December 6, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.