Effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 2012
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Objectives. To systematically review and meta-analyze the effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms. Methods. Medline, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO were screened through April 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they assessed the effect of yoga on major menopausal symptoms, namely, (1) psychological symptoms, (2) somatic symptoms, (3) vasomotor symptoms, and/or (4) urogenital symptoms. For each outcome, standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95 confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Two authors independently assessed risk of bias using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Results. Five RCTs with 582 participants were included in the qualitative review, and 4 RCTs with 545 participants were included in the meta-analysis. There was moderate evidence for short-term effects on psychological symptoms (SMD = - 0.37; 95 CI -0.67 to -0.07; P = 0.02). No evidence was found for total menopausal symptoms, somatic symptoms, vasomotor symptoms, or urogenital symptoms. Yoga was not associated with serious adverse events. Conclusion. This systematic review found moderate evidence for short-term effectiveness of yoga for psychological symptoms in menopausal women. While more rigorous research is needed to underpin these results, yoga can be preliminarily recommended as an additional intervention for women who suffer from psychological complaints associated with menopause. © 2012 Holger Cramer et al.
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