Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Clinical Effects of Yoga on Asthmatic Patients: A Preliminary Clinical Trial, Jimma, Southwest Ethiopia

D Mekonnen, M Andualem


BACKGROUND: Asthma is one of the commonest respiratory diseases in Jimma area as well as a significant disease burden worldwide costing billions of dollars. Anti-asthmatic drugs that are available in the market are expensive and have adverse effects. Thus, it is wise to look for an adjunct therapy to alleviate these problems. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to see the effect of yoga on patterns of clinical features, peak expiratory flow rates and use of drugs in asthmatic patients.
METHODS: A preliminary controlled clinical trial study was conducted on 24 volunteer asthmatic patients who were getting support at the missionary of charity. They were grouped in yoga and control groups. An Indian yoga expert through a translator conducted the training on yogic practice, yogic posture, breath slowing technique and discussion at the end. Then, the yoga groups were supervised for four weeks taking yoga exercise daily for 50 minutes. Peak expiratory flow rate was taken using the mini Wright peak flow meter and vital signs were measured in both groups. Data were analyzed using web based Graph pad quick calcs statistical software.
RESULTS: The male to female ratio was 1:1 in both cases and control groups, 8(66.7%) were Christian and 9 (75.0%) were farmers. The yoga group showed 66.7% reduction in the use of salbutamole puff and 58.3% salbutamole tablets. There was a 10% increment in the PEFR in the yoga group while only 2% in the control group. There was statistically significant reduction in day and night asthma attacks in the yoga group.
CONCLUSION: Yoga exercise among asthmatic patients resulted in a decreased number of day and night attacks and use of drugs. It also shows significant improvement in the peak expiratory flow rate. Further large scale study is recommended.
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