Yoga Improved Sleep Quality and Decreased Depression of Elders in Long-Term Care Facilities

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 2:25 PM

Kuei-Min Chen, RN, PhD1
Ming-Hsien Chen, MSW2
Mei-Hui Lin, RN, MS1
Jue-Ting Fan, RN, MS1
Huey-Shyan Lin, PhD1
Chun-Huw Li, RN, MS3
1School of Nursing, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2Social Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3Department of Nursing, Yuhing Junior College of Health Care and Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the protocol of a new complementary health practice method, yoga, for elderly residents in long-term care facilities.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to recognize the beneficial effects of yoga on the transitional frail elders in long-term care facilities.

Purpose: Being relocated to a long-term care facility can result in sleep disturbances and depression in elders. This may be attributed to or worsened by lack of regular physical activity. Appropriate exercise programs may be an important component of quality of life in this group of transitional frail elders. This study aimed to test the effects of a 24-week yoga exercise program in improving sleep quality and decreasing depression in transitional frail elders living in long-term care facilities.

Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre-test and post-tests design was used. A convenience sample of 69 elderly residents of long-term care facilities was divided randomly into a yoga exercise (n = 38) and control group (n = 31) based on residence location. A total of 55 participants completed the study. The intervention was implemented in three small groups, and each practice group was led by two pre-trained, certified yoga instructors three times per week at 70 minutes per practice session for 24 weeks. The outcome measures of sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and depression state (Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire) were examined at baseline, at the 12th week, and at the 24th week of the study.

Results: After 24 weeks of performing yoga exercises, elderly participants’ overall sleep quality had significantly improved, while depression, sleep disturbances, and daytime dysfunction had decreased significantly (p < .05). In addition, elderly participants in the intervention group had better results on all outcome indicators than those in the control group (p < .05).

Conclusion: It is recommended that yoga exercise be incorporated as an activity program in long-term care facilities to improve sleep quality and decrease depression in institutionalized elders.