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Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Carole A. Pepa


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative musculoskeletal disorder that affects the weightbearing joints of the spine, knees, and hips with a prevalence rate highest among individuals, 65 years and older (Davis & Srivastava, 2003). Chronic OA often results in decrease range of motion, progressive loss of function, and diminished self-efficacy. Gentle yoga exercises, when incorporated into a self-management program, has been shown to decrease pain perception in individuals afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), OA, and fibromyalgia (Ersek, Turner, Cain, & Kemp, 2008). The purpose of this evidence based practice (EBP) project was to evaluate the effect of an eight week gentle yoga program on pain perception and self-efficacy among older adults. The Stetler model for research utilization and Albert Bandura’s social learning theory were used to guide this project. Thirty-three participants, 65 years and older, were asked to assess their pain perception using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) prior to and after each yoga class. Changes in self-efficacy were measured using the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale (ASES) at weeks one and eight. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate the demographic data and Wilcoxon’s matched pair signed rank test for related samples were used to analyze the pre and post yoga intervention data. The NRS data yielded statistically significant reductions in pain perception at weeks three (p = .000) and six (p = .013). The ASES data also yielded statistically significant improvements in self-efficacy as it related to pain, function, and emotions. Proposed change outcomes included a two point reduction in pain perception, as measured by the NRS, prior to and after each yoga class and a five point increase in self-efficacy, as measured by the ASES, from baseline to project conclusion. Over the course of the eight week project, the minimum number of participants who were successful in achieving a two point pain perception reduction was four with the maximum number being nine. Positive improvements in self-efficacy were realized by 11 of the 33 participants, as a result of the yoga intervention. The results of this EBP project supports the utilization of a gentle yoga program specifically designed for older adults who desire a low-impact program with demonstrable positive outcomes of decrease pain perception and improved self-efficacy.