Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not yoga improved symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of three peer-reviewed primary studies published between 2014 and 2018.

DATA SOURCES: Two randomized control trials and one before and after case study evaluating if yoga can improve symptoms for patients who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

OUTCOMES MEASURES: The outcomes that were measured were balance and movement speed. Balance was measured using single leg balance test, single leg stance, and Berg Balance Scale. Movement speed, bradykinesia, was measured using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor score (UPDRS).

RESULTS: In the study conducted by Boulgarides et al., they found that single leg bance (SLB) showed improvement nearing a significant value following the yoga intervention (p = 0.007) and the Berg Balance Scale intervention period did not approach significance (p = 0.15). In the study conducted by Ni et al., single leg stance resulted in a lack of significant difference (p = 0.136) and Berg Balance Score reproduced a clinically meaningful improvement (p = 0.000) between the yoga intervention group and the control group. In the study conducted by Ni et al., they found that differences in bradykinesia and mobility reached statistically significant improvement in the yoga intervention group when compared to the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence presented in this review shows that yoga does improve symptoms in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Significant results were found in each article with some variation to the test that yielded significant results. However, due to the small sample sizes and other limitations of these studies, the idea of yoga improving symptoms in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease should be further researched.