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Mental Wellbeing, Quality of Life, and Perception of Chronic Illness in Yoga-Experienced Compared with Yoga-Naïve Patients

Shirley Telles, Ram Kumar Gupta, Ankur Kumar, Deepak K. Pal, Deepshikha Tyagi, Acharya Balkrishna

Department of Yoga Research, Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2019; 25:153-163

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.914663

Available online: 2019-05-20

Published: 2019-05-20


BACKGROUND: Perception of chronic illness and a positive outlook improve recovery, and yoga can improve wellbeing. This study aimed to compare perception, mental wellbeing, and quality of life in yoga-experienced compared with yoga-naïve patients with chronic illness and to determine whether the duration of yoga practice in the yoga-experienced group had any correlation with the perception of illness, mental wellbeing, and quality of life.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional comparative study recruited 419 patients with chronic non-communicable disease. Yoga-experienced patients (n=150) (mean age, 41.9±13.6 years) and yoga-naïve patients (n=269) (mean age, 41.2±12.6 years) were assessed for the perception of their illness, mental wellbeing, and quality of life using the Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale (WEMWBS) and the World Health Organization quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) self-reporting questionnaire.
RESULTS: The yoga-experienced group had significantly increased mental wellbeing, personal control as a dimension of their perception of illness, and psychological and environmental quality of life compared with the yoga-naïve group (all, p<0.05), when comparisons were made using the Mann-Whitney U test. The duration of yoga practised in months was positively-correlated with mental wellbeing and different aspects of quality of life. There was a negative correlation with the perception of illness suggesting that the illness was perceived to be less severe (all, p<0.05) when correlations were made using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with chronic illness, yoga improved mental wellbeing, aspects of quality of life, and resulted in a positive perception of illness.

Keywords: Chronic Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Perception, Quality of Life, Yoga