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China, heroin dependence, intervention studies, longitudinal studies, women, yoga



  1. Zhuang, Shu-mei
  2. An, Shi-hui
  3. Zhao, Yue


Background: Yoga, as a mind-body therapy, is effective in improving quality of life for patients with chronic diseases, yet little is known about its effectiveness in female heroin addicts.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of yoga on mood status and quality of life among women undergoing detoxification for heroin dependence in China.


Method: This study was a randomized controlled trial. Seventy-five women aged 20-37 years undergoing detoxification for heroin dependence at AnKang Hospital were allocated randomly into an intervention or a control group. Women in the intervention group received a 6-month yoga intervention in addition to hospital routine care, and women in the control group received hospital routine care only. Mood status and quality of life were assessed using the Profile of Mood States and Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey at baseline and following 3 and 6 months of treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate treatment and time effects on mood and quality of life.


Results: Most female heroin addicts were young and single, with a low education level. Most had used heroin by injection. Mood state and quality of life of female heroin addicts were poor. The intervention group showed a significant improvement in mood status and quality of life over time compared with their counterparts in the control group.


Conclusion: Yoga may improve mood status and quality of life for women undergoing detoxification for heroin dependence. Yoga can be used as an auxiliary treatment with traditional hospital routine care for these women.