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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 863905, 11 pages
Review Article

Effectiveness of Yoga for Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Received 3 May 2012; Accepted 1 June 2012

Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing

Copyright © 2012 Holger Cramer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To systematically review and meta-analyze the effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms. Methods. Medline, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO were screened through April 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they assessed the effect of yoga on major menopausal symptoms, namely, (1) psychological symptoms, (2) somatic symptoms, (3) vasomotor symptoms, and/or (4) urogenital symptoms. For each outcome, standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Two authors independently assessed risk of bias using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Results. Five RCTs with 582 participants were included in the qualitative review, and 4 RCTs with 545 participants were included in the meta-analysis. There was moderate evidence for short-term effects on psychological symptoms ( ; 95% CI −0.67 to −0.07; ). No evidence was found for total menopausal symptoms, somatic symptoms, vasomotor symptoms, or urogenital symptoms. Yoga was not associated with serious adverse events. Conclusion. This systematic review found moderate evidence for short-term effectiveness of yoga for psychological symptoms in menopausal women. While more rigorous research is needed to underpin these results, yoga can be preliminarily recommended as an additional intervention for women who suffer from psychological complaints associated with menopause.