Study ID Rheumatic disease Trial N Age (Mean ± SD) % female Study Duration (weeks) Comparison (Yoga intervention (I), Control (C)) Outcome measures reported Withdrawals n (%) Study Conclusions Risk of Bias?†
Osteoarthritis (OA)                  
Ghasemi et al. [20] OA of the knee 30 51 ± 9 53 ± 11 100 8 I: Group Hatha yoga 3 times weekly C: Usual care VAS pain, daily activity, quality of life 5 (17) There were no significant between-group differences in VAS pain, activity, or quality of life, though each of these measures improved significantly from baseline to follow-up in the yoga group (p<0.05). High
Ebnezar et al. [12] OA of the knee 250 60 ± 10 59 ± 11 70 12 I: Independent Hatha yoga‡ C: Ind. therapeutic exercise‡ Walking pain, Knee disability score, Knee flexion 15 (6) Significant between-group differences were found in favor of yoga for all outcome variables (all p<0.001). Moderate
Park et al. [21] OA of the hip or knee 21 80 ± 8.3 31 8 I: Group chair yoga C: Pain management education WOMAC pain, CES-D 8 (28) A statistically significant decrease in WOMAC pain (p=0.048) was found in the chair yoga group only. CES-D scores decreased, but not statistically significantly, in the yoga group. High
Taibi and Vitiello [22] OA and insomnia symptoms 14 65 ± 7 100 8 I: Independent Hatha yoga No control group PSQI, ISI, HAQ 1 (8) Participants experienced significant improvement from baseline in ISI but not PSQI or HAQ scores. High
Ulger and Yağlı [23] OA (n=11), back pain (n=16) 27 44 ± 7 100 4 I: Group yoga twice weekly No control group Static balance  (stabiliometer), Gait measures nd Participants' post-treatment gait speed, cycle, and ambulation index scores were significantly improved from baseline (p<0.05). Step irregularity decreased from pre- to post-treatment. Balance improved (p<0.05). High
Hansen [24] OA (19 of 23 patients) 23 71 82 6 I: Group yoga once weekly for six weeks No control group Pain, tightness, and sleep disturbance (5-point scale) 1 (4) Pain and stiffness were significantly reduced at 6-week follow-up (p≤0.001). The yoga intervention had no significant effect on sleeplessness. High
Kolasinski et al. [25] OA of the knee 11 59 100 8 I: Group Iyengar yoga once weekly No control group WOMAC, AIMS2 PGA (100-mm VAS) 4 (36) Improvement in pain and function from baseline were statistically significant (p=0.04). Stiffness improvement was not statistically significant (p=0.06). High
Garfinkel et al. [26] OA of the hand 25 nd 56 10 I: Yoga group once weekly for 8 weeks C: No intervention group Finger joint tenderness, Handgrip strength, Range of motion 1 (4) Improvement vs. control was statistically significant for joint tenderness and range of motion (p≤0.01). Handgrip strength and finger joint circumference changes were not statistically significant. Moderate
Fibromyalgia (FM)                  
Carson et al. [27] FM 53 51 ± 14 56 ± 9 100 8 I: Group yoga of awareness C: Wait-list control FIQR, PGIC, Timed chair rise, CPAQ 10 (19) FIQR, PGIC, timed chair rise, and CPAQ activity despite pain score were statistically significantly improved in the yoga group (p<0.05). Low
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)                
Evans et al. [28] RA or JIA 70 30 ± 3 27 ± 7 100 6 I: Group Iyengar yoga twice weekly C: Wait-list control SF-36; PDI; CPAQ; DAS28; ASES; HAQ disability index 4 (13) Yoga group experienced statistically significant improvement vs. control in ASES pain, disability index, SF-36 general health, mood, and CPAQ scores (all p<0.05). Moderate
Singh et al. [29] RA 80 35 ± 7 35 ± 7 70 7 I: Yoga, 540 min/week C: Usual care Pain (SDPIS) Function, Stiffness, Blood Pressure (BP) 0 (0) Statistically significant positive effects of yoga vs. control for pain, stiffness, inflammation, systolic and diastolic BP. High
Badsha et al. [30] RA 47 44 ± 10 46 ± 11 nd 8 I: Raj yoga 1 hour twice weekly C: Wait-list control DAS28, HAQ, SF-36 Quality of Life 0 (0) Statistically significant reduction in HAQ scores in yoga group (p=0.015). No statistically significant improvement in QOL scores. High
Bosch et al. [31] RA 20 56 ± 8 67 ± 6 100 10 I: Group hatha yoga 3 times weekly C: No intervention HAQ, BDI, BBT, Diurnal Cortisol, Resting Heart Rate 3 (15) HAQ, BDI, and pain scores significantly decreased in the yoga group vs. control (p≤0.05). No significant between-group difference was found in diurnal cortisol or resting heart rate. High
*Randomized controlled trial; †Assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool; ‡Each group also received two weeks of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and ultrasound
Abbreviations: ACR: American College of Rheumatology; nd: no data reported; TENS: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation; WOMAC: Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index; VAS: Visual Analog Scale; HAQ: Health Assessment Questionnaire; QOL: Quality of life; BDI: Beck Depression Inventory; BBT: Berg Balance Test; DAS28: Disease Activity Score for Rheumatoid Arthritis; FIQR: Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Revised; SF-36: Short form-36 Health Survey; CPAQ: Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire; SDPIS: Simple Descriptive Pain Intensity Score; ASES: Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale; CES-D: Center for Environmental Studies Depression Scale; PSQI: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; ISI: Insomnia Severity Index; AIMS-2: Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale-2; PGA: Patient Global Assessment; PGIC: Patient Global Impressions of Change; PDI: Pain Disability Index; JIA: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Table 1: Trial characteristics and results.