Expired Study
This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants on ClinicalConnection.com. If you would like to find active studies please search for clinical trials.

Palo Alto, California 94304


The purpose of this study is to determine whether yoga is effective for the treatment of chronic pain in Gulf War Illness.

Study summary:

Background: Many military personnel who participated in the Gulf War in 1990-1991 reported negative health consequences subsequent to their deployment. The most prevalent of these health consequences involves a triad of symptoms that include fatigue, pain and cognitive disturbances, commonly referred to as "Gulf War Illness" (GWI). No clear, unifying patho-physiological disease process or effective treatment has yet been identified for GWI. Results from a diverse spectrum of research studies support the view that veterans with GWI are medically ill, but the physiological abnormalities that contribute to their illness are not currently well understood nor sufficiently treated by conventional medicine. While the cause of GWI remains unknown, a potential link between GWI and autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation has been suggested. Yoga has been suggested to exert its therapeutic effects through adjusting imbalances in the ANS. In addition, yoga has been shown to be clinically effective in treating many of the physical symptoms typically found in GWI, including chronic pain and fatigue. As chronic pain is perhaps the most prevalent and debilitating symptom of GWI, we propose to target pain. Significantly for this application, no improvements in pain have yet been reported in any clinical trial involving GWI. Furthermore, no published studies have investigated yoga as an intervention in GWI. Objectives: The primary objective is to investigate yoga for the treatment of chronic pain in veterans with GWI. A secondary objective is to provide veterans with skills in yoga breathing, postures, and meditation that can be used to promote health and well-being. Hypothesis 1 (primary): 1. The subjective experience of pain, as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, will be reduced at end of treatment in the group given a 10-week yoga treatment program, compared to a pain support group (control). 2. This effect will be sustained across time and will be found at the end of the 24-week post-treatment follow-up. Hypothesis 2 (secondary): Yoga will have a beneficial effect on general well-being; thus, compared to the control group, the yoga treatment group will show benefits across a broad range of measures, including quality of life, fatigue, and medication use. Specific Aims: 1. To assess the efficacy of yoga in reducing chronic pain and determine if the health-related benefits of yoga persist after termination of the treatment program. 2. To obtain symptom-based outcome measures for veterans with GWI (before and after randomization) to assess pain, fatigue, physical functional status and quality of life. Study Design: The intervention to be tested is a 10-week yoga treatment program that has been specially designed for the treatment of chronic pain, as experienced by veterans with GWI. One hundred patients will be randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: group yoga or a pain management wellness group (control). The control group has been carefully designed to control for many features of a yoga intervention. Patients in both groups will attend weekly classes for 10 weeks, followed by 6 months of follow up. Monitoring will include periodic measures of pain, fatigue, quality of life, and ANS function. Impact: Despite increasing demand from veterans for yoga and other forms of complementary and alternative treatments, the provision of yoga in veteran healthcare remains sparse. This is due, in large part, to a lack of randomized clinical trials capable of demonstrating the efficacy and safety of yoga for the treatment of conditions such as GWI. Such a demonstration would strengthen the case to offer yoga as a widely-available treatment for pain in GWI and would help promote yoga as part of integrative healthcare. This treatment trial is designed to begin to determine potential mechanisms of pain maintenance in GWI. If yoga leads to improvement in pain outcome, this would support performing a larger clinical trial of yoga for treating pain and other symptoms of GWI.


Inclusion Criteria: - Served in the military in 1990-1991, regardless of deployment. - History of chronic pain. - Able to attend weekly visits at the study center for 10 weeks. - If on a psychotropic medication, the regimen will be stable for at least 4 weeks, prior to entry in the study. Exclusion Criteria: - Participation in another clinical trial. - Unable to visit the study center. - Unable to stand or walk.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Peter Bayley, PhD
VA Palo Alto Heath Care System

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Palo Alto, California 94304
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: March 16, 2018

Modifications to this listing: Only selected fields are shown, please use the link below to view all information about this clinical trial.

Click to view Full Listing

This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants on ClinicalConnection.com. The form below is not enabled.