Abstract P028: MY Program - Modified Yoga After Cardiac Surgery Reduces Stress, Pain and Anxiety
Introduction: Despite the physical benefits associated with cardiac surgery procedures, between 30-60% of all patients experience moderate to high levels of anxiety and/or depression, which can remain elevated up to 6 months post surgery. Traditional postoperative education classes do not provide an avenue for patients and families to deal with their physical and mental stress. Studies indicate that a holistic class, allowing individuals to focus on their inner-self would prove to have positive outcomes. We hypothesized that a modified yoga program (MY Program), tailored to the physical needs of post cardiac surgery patients, would have a positive effect on participants perceived stress, pain and anxiety levels.
Method: Postoperative cardiac surgery patients at our institution were eligible to participate in our innovative MY Program during their hospitalization. Sessions were held twice weekly in an education room on the surgical ward, and were led by a certified yoga instructor. Participants were seated, with all positions and postures (asanas) being modified for a seated position. The forty-five minute sessions started and finished with relaxation and meditation, including the incorporation of breathing exercises that are modified to account for post-operative difficulties such as splinting. The patients completed two questionnaires: anxiety questions of the HADS (Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scale) and a survey regarding their overall experience post-yoga.
Results: There were 112 participants, of which 61% ( 68 of 112) were male, age range of 20 to 89. Female patients reported experiencing lower levels of state anxiety compared to men, although not statistically significant (p = .11). Overall feelings of anxiety were relatively low-moderate amongst the participants post-yoga anxiety scores. Post-yoga questionnaire data analysis indicated that 98.8% (110 of 112) of patients found the session helpful, 91.1% (102 of 112) thought the setting was comfortable, 93.7% (104 of 112) would attend the class again, 100% (112 of 112) of patients would recommend the class to others, 89.2% (99 of 112) found that the session helped with their pain after surgery, 97.4% (109 of 112) reported that the session helped with their stress, and 91.7% (102 of 112) of patients found that their breathing improved after the class. Overall, males and females agreed on their satisfaction with the yoga intervention.
Conclusion: Cardiac surgery is physically and mentally challenging for patients and families. Educational sessions do not currently provide adequate stress and anxiety relief. The MY program demonstrated that a holistic yoga class, incorporating breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques reduced levels of stress, pain and anxiety in participants.
Author Disclosures: S. McGonigle: None. R. Styra: None. A. St.Jacques: None. B. Bailey: None. M. Dimas: None.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.