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P02.166. Group yoga intervention leads to improved balance and balance self-efficacy after stroke


Evaluate the impact of an 8-week group yoga intervention on balance, balance self-efficacy, and falls-efficacy in individuals with chronic stroke.


This is a prospective pilot study of a modified yoga intervention. All study participants: had chronic stroke (>9 months); completed all rehabilitation after stroke; were able to stand but self-reported some residual disability related to walking, balance, or functional loss after stroke; and scored > 4 out of 6 on the Short Mini Mental Status Exam. Forty-seven individuals with stroke were recruited and randomized 3:1 to yoga or waitlist control. The yoga group completed one hour yoga sessions twice a week for 8 weeks. Yoga was taught by a certified yoga therapist and included modified physical postures, yoga breathing, bilateral movements, and concluded with relaxation while seated, standing, and supine. Assessments before and after the 8 weeks included: Berg Balance Score (balance), Activities Balance Confidence Scale (ABC, balance self-efficacy), and Falls-Efficacy Scale (falls-efficacy). We compared groups with a t-test/Mann Whitney. We used paired t-tests to compare baseline and 8-week data.


The average age of participants completing the study was 64; 76% were male; and 63% were white. There were no differences in demographics or outcomes between the yoga and control groups. There were no improvements in the waitlist control group. In the yoga group (n=29), significant improvements were found after the 8-week intervention in balance (Berg 40.7±12.1 vs 47±9.6, p<0.001) and balance self-efficacy (ABC 61.25±21.8 vs 67.2±23.1, p=0.035). Falls-efficacy did not improve (p=0.164).


Our findings suggest an 8-week yoga intervention impacts balance and balance self-efficacy for people with chronic stroke. Yoga activities may have improved neuromuscular control, allowing for strength improvements in affected limbs/side or areas of disuse, thereby improving balance. Continued testing with a larger sample is warranted to determine the impact of yoga on balance and self-efficacy.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Schmid, A., Van Puymbroeck, M., Miller, K. et al. P02.166. Group yoga intervention leads to improved balance and balance self-efficacy after stroke. BMC Complement Altern Med 12 (Suppl 1), P222 (2012).

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