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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 702914, 7 pages
Research Article

Quality of Life and Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Diseases Who Regularly Practice Yoga and Those Who Do Not: A Case-Control Study

Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Am Deimelsberg 34a, 45276 Essen, Germany

Received 19 March 2013; Revised 13 May 2013; Accepted 23 May 2013

Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing

Copyright © 2013 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.


While clinical trials have shown evidence of efficacy of yoga in different chronic diseases, subjective health benefits associated with yoga practice under naturalistic conditions have not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate associations of regular yoga practice with quality of life and mental health in patients with chronic diseases. Using a case-control design, patients with chronic diseases who regularly practiced yoga were selected from a large observational study and compared to controls who did not regularly practice yoga and who were matched individually to each case on gender, main diagnosis, education, and age (within 5 years). Patients’ quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire), mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), life satisfaction, and health satisfaction (Questionnaire for Life Satisfaction) were assessed. Patients who regularly practiced yoga ( ) had a better general health status ( ), a higher physical functioning ( ), and physical component score ( ) on the SF-36 than those who did not ( ). No group differences were found for the mental scales of the SF-36, anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, or health satisfaction. In conclusion, practicing yoga under naturalistic conditions seems to be associated with increased physical health but not mental health in chronically diseased patients.