1. In this meta-analysis, asthma patients who used yoga breathing exercises reported better symptom control and quality of life.
2. In addition, breathing and meditation were found to improve several variables in pulmonary function testing compared to standard care.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Breathing, meditation, and posture exercises are prevalent in yoga and have previously been shown to be beneficial in lower respiratory diseases, such as asthma. Currently, the studies exploring this link have had several shortcomings, such as limited sample size, poor quality, and several other biases. As a result, the objective of the present study was to provide an updated meta-analysis of the literature to evaluate the effects of yoga on symptoms and quality of life in asthmatic patients.
Of 631 identified records, 15 studies were included from various sources from database inception to 2022. Studies were included if they investigated adult patients suffering from mild to moderate asthma, as defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines. Studies were excluded if participants had asthma exacerbations or other health conditions that could interfere with yoga exercises. The review was performed using PRISMA guidelines. The risk of bias was assessed using the GRADE pro approach. The primary outcome was the impact of yoga on asthmatic disease control, including pulmonary function tests, asthma control tests, and quality of life.
The results demonstrated that yoga was associated with an improvement in overall quality of life and asthma control. In addition, exercises such as breathing and meditation improved several variables in pulmonary function testing compared to usual care. Despite these results, the study was limited by the heterogeneity of the included studies and few studies exploring certain variables which may have affected the overall effect size. Nonetheless, the present study provided updated evidence on the utility of yoga as a complementary therapy in patients who suffer from mild to moderate asthma.
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