Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health Model to Gain Perspective of the Benefits of Yoga in Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, and Children to Inform Practice for Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Meta-Analysis

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Objective: Research pertaining to yoga and children with cerebral palsy (CP) is negligible. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model and levels of evidence for yoga and adults with stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS), and children. A secondary purpose was to decide whether any inferences could be made for children with CP. Design: This study included a meta-analysis. Interventions: A systematic review was performed of yoga and said populations. Outcome measures were categorized according to the ICF model domains of body structures and function, activity, and quality of life. Effect sizes (ESs) were calculated by using Cohen's d. Since there were few commonalities among outcome measures and reporting of outcomes within and among diagnostic groups, direct comparisons of ESs were difficult. Hence, we chose to evaluate the impact of yoga as compared with the control group or other physical exercise by using a General Linear Mixed Model. Results: There were 5 yoga studies with stroke, 15 with MS, and 12 with children. Studies with children used outcomes related to body structure and function, whereas those with stroke and MS used outcomes across all three domains of the ICF. ESs varied from negligible to medium for stroke, from negligible to large for MS and children. Conclusions: The findings of this meta-analysis indicate that yoga is no better or worse than other exercise modalities as a treatment intervention for adults with stroke and MS, and children. Group yoga classes are typically social environments that can contribute to increased physical progress and feelings that contribute to quality of life, which may benefit individuals with CP. More research on yoga and particularly in children and adults with CP would yield valuable information for creating effective and safe yoga programs with a rich array of benefits.






The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine