Impact of a structured yoga program on blood pressure reduction among hypertensive patients: Study protocol for a pragmatic randomized multicenter trial in primary health care settings in Nepal

Raja Ram Dhungana, Mahesh Kumar Khanal, Suira Joshi, Om Prakash Kalauni, Anu Shakya, Vijay Bhrutel, Savyata Panthi, K. C. Ramesh Kumar, Binod Ghimire, Achyut Raj Pandey, Bihungum Bista, Binaya Sapkota, Shiva Ram Khatiwoda, Craig Steven McLachlan, Dinesh Neupane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Hypertension control remains a major global challenge. The behavioral approaches recommended for blood pressure reduction are stress reduction, increased exercise and healthy dietary habits. Some study findings suggest that yoga has a beneficial effect in reducing blood pressure. However, the role of yoga on blood pressure has received little attention in existing health care practices in developing countries. This study will be conducted in primary health care facilities in Nepal to assess the effectiveness of a pragmatic yoga intervention to complement standard practice in further reducing blood pressure. Methods: This will be multicentric, two arms, randomized, nonblinded, pragmatic trial. It will be conducted in seven District Ayurveda Health Centers (DAHCs) in Nepal between July 2017 and June 2018. The study participants will consist of hypertensive patients with or without antihypertensive medication attending to the outpatient department (OPD). One hundred and forty participants will be randomized to treatment or control groups by using a stratified block randomization. At the study site, the treatment arm participants will receive an intervention consisting of five days of structured yoga training and practice of the same package at home with a recommendation of five days a week for the following 90 days. Both the intervention and control groups will receive two hours of health education on lifestyle modifications. The primary outcome of this trial will be the change in systolic blood pressure and it will be assessed after 90 days of the intervention. Discussion: This study will establish the extent to which a yoga intervention package can help reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. If proven effective, study findings may be used to recommend the governing bodies and other stakeholders for the integration of yoga in the national healthcare system for the treatment and control of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number207
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Hypertension
  • Nepal
  • Obesity
  • Primary health care
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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