Healthy ageing

The Gentle Years Yoga Trial

What is The Gentle Years Yoga Trial? A UK-based trial evaluating an adapted yoga programme in older adults with long-term medical conditions.

What is the main aim? To determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of the Gentle Years Yoga© programme plus usual care compared with usual care alone in adults aged 65 years or older who have two or more long-term medical conditions.

Why is this study important? Two thirds of people over the age of 65 in the UK have multimorbidity, which is defined as having two or more long-term health conditions. Multimorbidity is associated with high levels of illness burden and healthcare spending, yet the evidence base for how best to manage older adults with multimorbidity is weak.

Yoga might be a useful intervention, because it is low cost, simple, and can address several health conditions at the same time. Gentle Year Yoga© is a chair-based yoga programme that was developed for older adults with long-term conditions, and is accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga. A programme lasts for 12 weeks and involves weekly group-based sessions and self-managed yoga practice on most days. A pilot study published in 2017 provided encouraging preliminary data. The current full-scale trial will provide policy-makers with high-quality evidence about the role of yoga in treating patients with multimorbidity.

When and where is this study taking place? The study started in January 2019 and will last four years. A total of 586 participants will be recruited via GP practices and advertising in 12 areas of England, Scotland and Wales.

What outcomes are being measured? The primary outcome will be health-related quality of life, measured using a questionnaire called the EQ-5D-5L. Secondary outcomes will include anxiety, depression, loneliness, falls, adverse events, and healthcare resource use.

Who is conducting this research? The Chief Investigator is Dr Garry Tew from Northumbria University. York Trials Unit are leading the day-to-day management of the trial. Delivery of the yoga programme is being overseen by two British Wheel of Yoga teacher trainers.

Who is funding this study? The National Institute for Health Research – Health Technology Assessment Programme (project number 17/94/36).

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Last modified: Fri, 17 May 2019 16:23:10 BST