Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Joyce P Miller

Second Advisor

Kristin McHale


Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a chronic disease with no reliable cure that is caused by a chaotic heart rhythm. The heart has both metaphysical and physical meaning as the place where the spirit resides, a symbol of love, and as an organ that provides life. Yoga can be integrated as a holistic modality that has both physical and metaphysical benefits. Literature demonstrates that yoga can reduce self-assessed symptoms of afib, secondary outcomes, and objective episodes of afib. Negative emotional states can increase afib frequency. Yoga has been found to improve emotional states, ability to cope with chronic disease, perceived wellness, and quality of life. This project introduced yoga as a holistic modality to 12 patients with a diagnosis of afib and utilized a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle for rapid quality improvement. Of the patients introduced to yoga, 83% were willing to learn more and practice yoga on their own. At the 12 week follow up, 33% were practicing at least some yoga, 25% reported an improved feeling of wellness, 33% found the yoga sequence helpful, and 8.3% found the online resource helpful. Watson’s human caring theory was chosen as the theoretical foundation of this project as it focuses on caring, transcends cure, and emphasizes wellness independent of a bio-medical cure. The concepts of holistic transpersonal care and being open to the spiritual in human caring theory is synergistic with the concept of connection with the universe, which is central to yoga practice. Future direction includes the design and development of a Yoga for Heart Health group class.


Sc 11.DNP.2019.McAlpine.JL