A systematic literature review of the effect of mind-body interventions on mental health among patients with atrial fibrillation

Jennie Brask Augsburg, Misbah Inam Dar, Kathryn Wood, Trine Bernholdt Rasmussen, Signe Stelling Risom*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Living with atrial fibrillation (AF) has a negative impact on patients’ mental health, including their emotional, psychological and social well-being. This decrease in mental health can result in increased anxiety and worsening of physical symptoms demonstrating a mind-body connection. Mind-body interventions (MBIs) e.g., yoga, relaxation and some variants of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are based on the perspective that mental and physical health affect each other, which is why MBIs potentially can have a positive effect on anxiety and poor mental health among patients with AF. Aim: To investigate whether MBIs have an effect on mental health outcomes in adults with AF. Method: We conducted a systematic review searching PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and CINAHL. The primary outcomes were mental health including anxiety. Secondary outcomes included health related quality of life (HRQoL) and physical factors. Results: Five randomized clinical trials (three Swedish, one Chinese, one American) were included with a total of 431 participants. Interventions included two variants of CBT in two studies, yoga in two others, and a resiliency training program in one. Yoga and CBT had a positive effect on mental health. CBT and a Relaxation Response Resiliency Program had no effect on anxiety. A positive effect of CBT on HRQoL and depression were found in all studies and on blood pressure and heart rate in one yoga study. Conclusion: This review indicates that MBIs have a positive effect on mental health in patients with AF with no specific effects noted on anxiety. More research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200245
JournalMental Health and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Anxiety
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Mental health
  • Mind-Body intervention
  • Systematic review
  • Yoga


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