Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kristin McHale DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Susanne Cutshall APRN, CNS, DNP


Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and causes inflammation throughout the body. Most individuals with arthritis experience joint pain and stiffness that can impede mobility. Physical activity is a proven effective means in relieving pain and reducing the disability. A scholarly project was designed to evaluate the effects of yoga with the goal of improving individuals’ physical function, pain reduction and improving their perception of quality of life and overall well-being. A pilot study was conducted with an introductory program of Restorative Yoga with 5 individuals recruited from a southwest regional arthritis clinic diagnosed with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The outcome measured by Wilcoxon Signed Rank test indicated no change. Individual comparisons showed 4 of 5 individuals had improved flexibility, less pain and overall sense of well-being. One of 5 did not report any change in flexibility, pain or well-being but anecdotally commented that she did. A limitation for the study was that the sample size was too small to accurately measure a benefit. Individual comparisons indicated clinical significance. Watson’s Human Caring Theory and her Caritas processes that provided integrity and strength to the project were authentic presence, heart centered practice, and mutuality/universality. Expansion of the pilot study in private practice is an important undertaking to prove statistical significance in the benefit of Restorative Yoga practice by individuals with a diagnosis of arthritis.


SC 11.DNP.2020.Denton.M