Irritable bowel syndrome affects as many as 14% of high school-aged students. Symptoms include discomfort in the abdomen, along with diarrhea and/or constipation and other gastroenterological symptoms that can significantly impact quality of life and daily functioning. Emotional stress appears to exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms suggesting that mind-body interventions reducing arousal may prove beneficial. For many sufferers, symptoms can be traced to childhood and adolescence, making the early manifestation of irritable bowel syndrome important to understand. The current study will focus on young people aged 14-26 years with irritable bowel syndrome. The study will test the potential benefits of Iyengar yoga on clinical symptoms, psychospiritual functioning and visceral sensitivity. Yoga is thought to bring physical, psychological and spiritual benefits to practitioners and has been associated with reduced stress and pain. Through its focus on restoration and use of props, Iyengar yoga is especially designed to decrease arousal and promote psychospiritual resources in physically compromised individuals. An extensive and standardized teacher-training program support Iyengar yoga's reliability and safety. It is hypothesized that yoga will be feasible with less than 20% attrition; and the yoga group will demonstrate significantly improved outcomes compared to controls, with physiological and psychospiritual mechanisms contributing to improvements.
Sixty irritable bowel syndrome patients aged 14-26 will be randomly assigned to a standardized 6-week twice weekly Iyengar yoga group-based program or a wait-list usual care control group. The groups will be compared on the primary clinical outcomes of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, quality of life and global improvement at post-treatment and 2-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes will include visceral pain sensitivity assessed with a standardized laboratory task (water load task), functional disability and psychospiritual variables including catastrophizing, self-efficacy, mood, acceptance and mindfulness. Mechanisms of action involved in the proposed beneficial effects of yoga upon clinical outcomes will be explored, and include the mediating effects of visceral sensitivity, increased psychospiritual resources, regulated autonomic nervous system responses and regulated hormonal stress response assessed via salivary cortisol.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, disabling disease that can greatly compromise health related quality of life (HRQOL). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a 6-week twice/week Iyengar yoga (IY) program on HRQOL of young adults with RA compared to a usual-care waitlist control group.
The program was designed to improve the primary outcome of HRQOL including pain, as well as disability and psychological functioning in patients. Assessments were collected pre, post, and at 2-months following treatment. Weekly ratings of anxiety, depression, pain and sleep were also recorded. A total of 26 participants completed the intervention (yoga = 11; usual care waitlist = 15). All participants were female (mean age =28 years).
Overall attrition was low at 15%. On average, women in the yoga group attended 96% of the yoga classes. No adverse events were reported. Relative to the usual-care waitlist, women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvement on standardized measures of HRQOL, pain disability, general health, mood, fatigue, acceptance of chronic pain and self-efficacy regarding pain at post treatment. Almost half of the yoga group reported clinically meaningful symptom improvement. Analysis of the uncontrolled effects and maintenance of treatment effects showed improvements in HRQOL general health, pain disability and weekly ratings of pain, anxiety and depression that maintained at follow-up.
The findings suggest a brief IY intervention is a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for young people with RA, leading to health related quality of life (HRQOL), pain disability, fatigue, and mood benefits. Moreover, improvements in quality of life, pain disability and mood persisted at the 2-month follow-up.
Yoga; arthritis; young adults
This study was conducted with participants from trials examining the effects of an Iyengar yoga program on cardiovascular disease risk. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the perceived benefits of yoga in a population of older, predominantly overweight adults participating in a gentle 8-week yoga program.
This study used a constructivist-interpretive approach to naturalistic inquiry.
A total of 42 participants completed the intervention and met the inclusion criteria for the current qualitative study.
The 8-week Iyengar yoga program included two 90-minute yoga classes and five 30-minute home sessions per week. Participants completed weekly logs and an exit questionnaire at the end of the study.
Main Outcome Measures
Qualitative data from weekly logs and exit questionnaires were compiled and conventional content analysis performed with the use of ATLAS.ti to facilitate the process.
Four broad themes emerged from content analysis: Practicing yoga improved overall physical function and capacity (for 83% of participants); practicing yoga reduced stress/anxiety and enhanced calmness (83% of participants); practicing yoga enriched the quality of sleep (21% of participants); and practicing yoga supported efforts toward dietary improvements (14% of participants).
These results suggest that yoga may have ancillary benefits in terms of improved physical function, enhanced mental/emotional state, enriched sleep quality, and improved lifestyle choices, and may be useful as a health promotion strategy in the prevention and management of chronic disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, disabling condition that greatly compromises patient functioning. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a 6-week twice per week Iyengar yoga (IY) program on IBS symptoms in adolescents and young adults (YA) with IBS compared with a usual-care waitlist control group.
Assessments of symptoms, global improvement, pain, health-related quality of life, psychological distress, functional disability, fatigue, and sleep were collected pre- and posttreatment. Weekly ratings of pain, IBS symptoms, and global improvement were also recorded until 2-month follow-up. A total of 51 participants completed the intervention (yoga = 29; usual-care waitlist = 22).
Baseline attrition was 24%. On average, the yoga group attended 75% of classes. Analyses were divided by age group. Relative to controls, adolescents (14–17 years) assigned to yoga reported significantly improved physical functioning, whereas YA (18–26 years) assigned to yoga reported significantly improved IBS symptoms, global improvement, disability, psychological distress, sleep quality, and fatigue. Although abdominal pain intensity was statistically unchanged, 44% of adolescents and 46% of YA reported a minimally clinically significant reduction in pain following yoga, and one-third of YA reported clinically significant levels of global symptom improvement. Analysis of the uncontrolled effects and maintenance of treatment effects for adolescents revealed global improvement immediately post-yoga that was not maintained at follow-up. For YA, global improvement, worst pain, constipation, and nausea were significantly improved postyoga, but only global improvement, worst pain, and nausea maintained at the 2-month follow-up.
The findings suggest that a brief IY intervention is a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for young people with IBS, leading to benefits in a number of IBS-specific and general functioning domains for YA. The age-specific results suggest that yoga interventions may be most fruitful when developmentally tailored.
adolescents; irritable bowel syndrome; yoga; young adults
The effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga for chronic low back pain (CLBP) were assessed with intention-to-treat and per-protocol analysis. Ninety subjects were randomized to a yoga (n=43) or control group (n=47) receiving standard medical care (SMC). Participants were followed 6 months after completion of the intervention.
This study aimed to evaluate Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Yoga subjects were hypothesized to report greater reductions in functional disability, pain intensity, depression, and pain medication usage than controls.
Summary of Background Data
CLBP is a musculoskeletal disorder with public health and economic impact. Pilot studies of yoga and back pain have reported significant changes in clinically important outcomes.
Subjects were recruited through self-referral and health professional referrals according to explicit inclusion/exclusion criteria. Yoga subjects participated in 24 weeks of biweekly yoga classes designed for CLBP. Outcomes were assessed at 12 (midway), 24 (immediately after) and 48 weeks (6 month follow-up) after the start of the intervention using the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire, a Visual Analog Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and a pain medication-usage questionnaire.
Using intention-to-treat analysis with repeated measures ANOVA (group × time), significantly greater reductions in functional disability and pain intensity were observed in the yoga group when compared to the control group at 24 weeks. A significantly greater proportion of yoga subjects also reported clinical improvements at both 12 and 24 weeks. In addition, depression was significantly lower in yoga subjects. Furthermore, while a reduction in pain medication occurred, this was comparable in both groups. When results were analyzed using per-protocol analysis, improvements were observed for all outcomes in the yoga group, including a greater trend for reduced pain medication usage. Although slightly less than at 24 weeks, the yoga group had statistically significant reductions in functional disability, pain intensity and depression compared to SMC 6-months post-intervention.
Yoga improves functional disability, pain intensity, and depression in adults with CLBP. There was also a clinically important trend for the yoga group to reduce their pain medication usage compared to the control group.
Heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are highly prevalent and associated with a large symptom burden, that is compounded in a dual HF-COPD diagnosis. Yoga has potential benefit for symptom relief; however functional impairment hinders access to usual yoga classes. We developed a Tele-Yoga intervention and evaluated it in a controlled pilot trial. This paper reports on the appropriateness and acceptability of the intervention and the evaluation design.
A controlled, non-randomised trial was conducted of an 8-week Tele-Yoga intervention versus an educational control (information leaflets mailed to participants with one phone call a week). Biweekly one-hour Tele-Yoga classes were implemented via multipoint videoconferencing that connected participants to live classes via an Internet connection to their televisions. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with participants post study exit to explore reasons for and experiences of participating, including views of study outcome measures and physiological tests. Transcribed interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis.
Fifteen people participated in the pilot study (7 in the intervention group, 8 in the control). Of these, 12 participants were interviewed, 6 in each group, mean age 71.2 years (SD 10.09); 3 were male. Themes are reported in the following categories: acceptability and appropriateness of the intervention, potential active ingredients of the intervention, acceptability and appropriateness of the control, participation in the research, and acceptability of the testing procedures. The intervention was acceptable and appropriate: the intervention group reported enjoying yoga and valuing the home-based aspect and participants described a high symptom burden and social isolation. However, technological problems resulted in poor video-streaming quality for some participants. Potential active ingredients included physical postures, breathing exercises and guidance in relaxation and meditation. The educational control intervention was acceptable and appropriate, with participants reporting little effect on their well-being and no impact on mechanisms hypothesised to explain yoga’s effectiveness. The questionnaires and home physiological testing were acceptable to participants.
Tele-Yoga is an acceptable and appropriate intervention in people with HF and COPD and further research is warranted to refine the technology used in its delivery. Findings provide guidance for researchers working in tele-interventions, yoga, and similar populations.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02078739 (4 March 2014).
Yoga; Tele-medicine; Meditation; Relaxation; Heart failure; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Dyspnoea; Complex intervention; Qualitative; Medical Research Council framework
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, disabling disease that can compromise mobility, daily functioning, and health-related quality of life, especially in older adolescents and young adults. In this project, we will compare a standardized Iyengar yoga program for young people with rheumatoid arthritis to a standard care wait-list control condition.
Seventy rheumatoid arthritis patients aged 16-35 years will be randomized into either the 6-week Iyengar yoga program (12 - 1.5 hour sessions twice weekly) or the 6-week wait-list control condition. A 20% attrition rate is anticipated. The wait-list group will receive the yoga program following completion of the first arm of the study. We will collect data quantitatively, using questionnaires and markers of disease activity, and qualitatively using semi-structured interviews. Assessments include standardized measures of general and arthritis-specific function, pain, mood, and health-related quality of life, as well as qualitative interviews, blood pressure/resting heart rate measurements, a medical exam and the assessment of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Data will be collected three times: before treatment, post-treatment, and two months following the treatment.
Results from this study will provide critical data on non-pharmacologic methods for enhancing function in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In particular, results will shed light on the feasibility and potential efficacy of a novel intervention for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, paving the way for a larger clinical trial.
While arthritis is the most common cause of disability, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics experience worse arthritis impact despite having the same or lower prevalence of arthritis compared to non-Hispanic whites. People with arthritis who exercise regularly have less pain, more energy, and improved sleep, yet arthritis is one of the most common reasons for limiting physical activity. Mind-body interventions, such as yoga, that teach stress management along with physical activity may be well suited for investigation in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga users are predominantly white, female, and college educated. There are few studies that examine yoga in minority populations; none address arthritis. This paper presents a study protocol examining the feasibility and acceptability of providing yoga to an urban, minority population with arthritis.
In this ongoing pilot study, a convenience sample of 20 minority adults diagnosed with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis undergo an 8-week program of yoga classes. It is believed that by attending yoga classes designed for patients with arthritis, with racially concordant instructors; acceptability of yoga as an adjunct to standard arthritis treatment and self-care will be enhanced. Self-care is defined as adopting behaviors that improve physical and mental well-being. This concept is quantified through collecting patient-reported outcome measures related to spiritual growth, health responsibility, interpersonal relations, and stress management. Additional measures collected during this study include: physical function, anxiety/depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, social roles, and pain; as well as baseline demographic and clinical data. Field notes, quantitative and qualitative data regarding feasibility and acceptability are also collected. Acceptability is determined by response/retention rates, positive qualitative data, and continuing yoga practice after three months.
There are a number of challenges in recruiting and retaining participants from a community clinic serving minority populations. Adopting behaviors that improve well-being and quality of life include those that integrate mental health (mind) and physical health (body). Few studies have examined offering integrative modalities to this population. This pilot was undertaken to quantify measures of feasibility and acceptability that will be useful when evaluating future plans for expanding the study of yoga in urban, minority populations with arthritis.
Yoga; Complementary and alternative medicine; Minority; Osteoarthritis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Self-efficacy
Introduction: Yoga is a holistic system of different mind–body practices that can be used to improve mental and physical health. It has been shown to reduce perceived stress and anxiety as well as improve mood and quality of life. Research documenting the therapeutic benefits of yoga has grown progressively for the past decades and now includes controlled trials on a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
Objectives: The primary goal of this study was to investigate the effects of yoga in patients suffering from panic disorder. We aimed at observing the efficacy of yoga techniques on reducing the symptomatology of panic disorder (anxiety and agoraphobia), compared to a combined intervention of yoga and psychotherapy.
Method: Twenty subjects previously diagnosed with panic disorder were selected. Subjects were randomly assigned to both experimental groups: Group 1 (G1-Yoga: 10 subjects) attended yoga classes and Group 2 (G2-CBT + Yoga: 10 subjects) participated in a combined intervention of yoga practice followed by a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) session. Both interventions occurred weekly for 100 min and lasted 2 months. Subjects were evaluated two times during the study: pre-test and post-test. Psychometric tools included the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), The Panic Beliefs Inventory (PBI), and Body Sensations Questionnaire (BSQ).
Results: Statistical analysis showed significant reductions in anxiety levels associated with panic disorder (G1: BAI – p = 0.035, HAM-A – p = 0.000; G2: BAI – p = 0.002, HAM-A – p = 0.000), panic-related beliefs (G1: PBI – p = 0.000; G2: PBI – p = 0.000) and panic-related body sensations (G1: BSQ – p = 0.000; G2: BSQ – p = 0.000) both in G1 and G2. However, the combination of yoga and CBT (G2) showed even further reductions in all observed parameters (mean values).
Conclusion: This study observed significant improvement in panic symptomatology following both the practice of yoga and the combination of yoga and psychotherapy. While contemplative techniques such as yoga promote a general change in dealing with private events, CBT teaches how to modify irrational beliefs and specific cognitive distortions. The results observed in G2 might indicate that the techniques complemented each other, increasing the intervention efficacy. These findings are in agreement with many investigations found in the literature which observed improvements in different mental health parameters after the practice of contemplative techniques alone or combined to psychotherapy. Future research joining psychological and physiological variables could help better elucidate the mechanisms through which mind-body practices work to improve mental health.
anxiety; cognitive-behavioral therapy; contemplative practice; panic disorder; yoga
Yoga is a popular therapy for diabetes but its efficacy is contested. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of researching community based yoga classes in Type 2 diabetes with a view to informing the design of a definitive, multi-centre trial
The study design was an exploratory randomised controlled trial with in-depth process evaluation. The setting was two multi-ethnic boroughs in London, UK; one with average and one with low mean socio-economic deprivation score. Classes were held at a sports centre or GP surgery. Participants were 59 people with Type 2 diabetes not taking insulin, recruited from general practice lists or opportunistically by general practice staff. The intervention group were offered 12 weeks of a twice-weekly 90-minute yoga class; the control group was a waiting list for the yoga classes. Both groups received advice and leaflets on healthy lifestyle and were encouraged to exercise.
Primary outcome measure was HbA1c. Secondary outcome measures included attendance, weight, waist circumference, lipid levels, blood pressure, UKPDS cardiovascular risk score, diabetes-related quality of life (ADDQoL), and self-efficacy. Process measures were attendance at yoga sessions, self-reported frequency of practice between taught sessions, and qualitative data (interviews with patients and therapists, ethnographic observation of the yoga classes, and analysis of documents including minutes of meetings, correspondence, and exercise plans).
Despite broad inclusion criteria, around two-thirds of the patients on GP diabetic registers proved ineligible, and 90% of the remainder declined to participate. Mean age of participants was 60 +/- 10 years. Attendance at yoga classes was around 50%. Nobody did the exercises regularly at home. Yoga teachers felt that most participants were unsuitable for 'standard' yoga exercises because of limited flexibility, lack of basic fitness, co-morbidity, and lack of confidence. There was a small fall in HbA1c in the yoga group which was not statistically significant and which was not sustained six months later, and no significant change in other outcome measures.
The benefits of yoga in type 2 diabetes suggested in some previous studies were not confirmed. Possible explanations (apart from lack of efficacy) include recruitment challenges; practical and motivational barriers to class attendance; physical and motivational barriers to engaging in the exercises; inadequate intensity and/or duration of yoga intervention; and insufficient personalisation of exercises to individual needs. All these factors should be considered when designing future trials.
National Research Register (1410) and Current Controlled Trials (ISRCTN63637211).
Smokers trying to quit encounter many challenges including nicotine withdrawal symptoms, cigarette craving, increased stress and negative mood and concern regarding weight gain. These phenomena make it difficult to successfully quit smoking. Studies in non-smoking populations show that yoga reduces stress and negative mood and improves weight control. By increasing mindfulness we anticipate that yoga may also improve smokers’ ability to cope with the negative symptoms associated with quitting. Yoga may also improve cognitive deliberation which is needed to make effective choices and avoid smoking in tempting situations.
The BreathEasy study is a rigorous, randomized controlled clinical trial examining the efficacy of Iyengar yoga as a complementary therapy to cognitive-behavioral therapy for smoking cessation. All participants are given an 8-week program of smoking cessation classes, and are randomized to either twice weekly yoga (Yoga) or twice-weekly health and wellness classes which serve as a control for contact and participant burden (CTL).
Assessments are conducted at baseline, 8 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months follow up. The primary outcome is prolonged abstinence using an intention-to-treat approach. Multiple internal and external audits using blind data collection are employed to ensure treatment fidelity and reliability of study results. To understand why yoga may be more effective than CTL, we will examine mechanisms of action (i.e., mediators) underlying intervention efficacy. We will examine maintenance of yoga practice and smoking status at each follow up. Focus groups and interviews will be used to enrich our understanding of the relationship of yoga practice and smoking abstinence.
Yoga; Smoking Cessation; Wellness
Laughter Yoga consists of physical exercise, relaxation techniques and simulated vigorous laughter. It has been associated with physical and psychological benefits for people in diverse clinical and non-clinical settings, but has not yet been tested in a haemodialysis setting. The study had three aims: 1) to examine the feasibility of conducting Laughter Yoga for patients with end stage kidney disease in a dialysis setting; 2) to explore the psychological and physiological impact of Laughter Yoga for these patients; and 3) to estimate the sample size required for future research.
Pre/post intervention feasibility study. Eighteen participants were recruited into the study and Laughter Yoga therapists provided a four week intradialytic program (30-min intervention three times per week). Primary outcomes were psychological items measured at the first and last Laughter Yoga session, including: quality of life; subjective wellbeing; mood; optimism; control; self-esteem; depression, anxiety and stress. Secondary outcomes were: blood pressure, intradialytic hypotensive episodes and lung function (forced expiratory volume). Dialysis nurses exposed to the intervention completed a Laughter Yoga attitudes and perceptions survey (n = 11). Data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics v22, including descriptive and inferential statistics, and sample size estimates were calculated using G*Power.
One participant withdrew from the study for medical reasons that were unrelated to the study during the first week (94 % retention rate). There were non-significant increases in happiness, mood, and optimism and a decrease in stress. Episodes of intradialytic hypotension decreased from 19 pre and 19 during Laughter Yoga to 4 post Laughter Yoga. There was no change in lung function or blood pressure. All nurses agreed or strongly agreed that Laughter Yoga had a positive impact on patients’ mood, it was a feasible intervention and they would recommend Laughter Yoga to their patients. Sample size calculations for future research indicated that a minimum of 207 participants would be required to provide sufficient power to detect change in key psychological variables.
This study provides evidence that Laughter Yoga is a safe, low-intensity form of intradialytic physical activity that can be successfully implemented for patients in dialysis settings. Larger studies are required, however, to determine the effect of Laughter Yoga on key psychological variables.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry - ACTRN12614001130651. Registered 23 October 2014.
Blood pressure; Laughter therapy; Quality of life; Renal dialysis; Respiratory function tests
Back pain, one of the most prevalent conditions afflicting American adults, is the leading reason for using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Yoga is an increasingly popular "mind-body" CAM therapy often used for relieving back pain and several small studies have found yoga effective for this condition. This study will assess whether yoga is effective for treating chronic low back pain compared with self care and exercise and will explore the mechanisms responsible for any observed benefits.
A total of 210 participants with low back pain lasting at least 3 months will be recruited from primary care clinics of a large healthcare system based in Seattle. They will be randomized in a 2:2:1 ratio to receive 12 weekly yoga classes, 12 weekly conventional therapeutic exercise classes of comparable physical exertion, or a self-care book. Interviewers masked to participants' treatment group will assess outcomes at baseline and 6, 12 and 26 weeks after randomization. Primary outcomes will be back-related dysfunction and symptom bothersomeness. In addition, data will be collected on physical measurements (e.g., flexion) at baseline and 12 weeks and saliva samples will be obtained at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Information will be collected on specific physical, psychological, and physiological factors to allow exploration of possible mechanisms of action through which yoga could relieve back pain and dysfunction. The effectiveness of yoga will be assessed using analysis of covariance (using general estimating equations - GEE) within an intention-to-treat context. If yoga is found effective, further analyses will explore whether yoga's benefits are attributable to physical, psychological and/or physiological factors.
This study will provide the clearest evidence to date about the value of yoga as a therapeutic option for treating chronic back pain, and if the results are positive, will help focus future, more in-depth, research on the most promising potential mechanisms of action identified by this study.
This trial is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, with the ID number of NCT00447668.
Nonspecific chronic low back (nCLBP) pain is prevalent among adult population and often leads to functional limitations, psychological symptoms, lower quality of life (QOL), and higher healthcare costs. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on pain intensity and health related quality of life (HRQOL) with nCLBP.
Aim of the Study:
To compare the effect of Iyengar yoga therapy and conventional exercise therapy on pain intensity and HRQOL in nonspecific chronic low back pain.
Materials and Methods:
Experimental study with random sampling technique.
Sixty subjects who fulfilled the selection criteria were randomly assigned to Iyengar yoga (yoga group, n = 30) and control group (exercise group, n = 30). Participants completed low back pain evaluation form and HRQOL-4 questionnaire before their intervention and again 4 weeks and 6 month later. Yoga group underwent 29 yogic postures training and exercise group had undergone general exercise program for 4 weeks.
Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze group differences over time, while controlling for baseline differences.
Patients in both groups experienced significant reduction in pain and improvement in HRQOL. In visual analogue scale (VAS) yoga group showed reduction of 72.81% (P = 0.001) as compared to exercise group 42.50% (P = 0.001). In HRQOL, yoga group showed reduction of 86.99% (P = 0.001) as compared to exercise group 67.66% (P = 0.001).
These results suggest that Iyengar yoga provides better improvement in pain reduction and improvement in HRQOL in nonspecific chronic back pain than general exercise.
Health related quality of life; Iyengar yoga; nonspecific chronic low back pain; visual analog scale
Individuals have increasingly sought complementary therapies to enhance health and well-being during cancer, although little evidence of their effect is available.
how an Iyengar yoga program affects the self-identified worst symptom in a group of participants. whether quality of life, spiritual well-being, and mood disturbance change over the Iyengar yoga program and at 6 weeks after the program. how, from a participant’s perspective, the Iyengar yoga program complements conventional cancer treatment.
Patients and Methods
This pre–post instrumental collective case study used a mixed methods design and was conducted at a private Iyengar yoga studio. The sample consisted of 24 volunteers (23 women, 1 man; 88% Caucasian; mean age: 49 years) who were currently on treatment or who had been treated for cancer within the previous 6 months, and who participated in ten 90-minute weekly Iyengar yoga classes.
The main outcome measures were most-bothersome symptom (Measure Your Medical Outcome Profile 2 instrument), quality of life and spiritual well-being (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–General subscale and Spiritual subscale), and mood disturbance (Profile of Mood States–Short Form). Participant perspectives were obtained in qualitative interviews.
Statistically significant improvements were reported in most-bothersome symptom (t(23) = 5.242; p < 0.001), quality of life (F(2,46) = 14.5; p < 0.001), spiritual well-being (F(2,46) = 14.4; p < 0.001), and mood disturbance (F(2,46) = 10.8; p < 0.001) during the program. At follow-up, quality of life (t(21) = −3.7; p = 0.001) and mood disturbance (t(21) = 2.4; p = 0.025) significantly improved over time. Categorical aggregation of the interview data showed that participants felt the program provided them with various benefits not included on the outcomes questionnaires.
Over the course of the Iyengar Yoga for Cancer program, participants reported an improvement in overall well-being. The program was also found to present participants with a holistic approach to care and to provide tools to effectively manage the demands of living with cancer and its treatment.
Iyengar yoga; cancer; complementary and alternative medicine; integrative oncology; mixed methodology
Some patients receiving treatment in conventional health care systems access therapeutic yoga outside their mainstream care to improve cancer symptoms. Given the current knowledge gap around patient preferences and documented experiences of yoga in adult cancer, this study aimed to describe patient-reported benefits, barriers and characteristics of programming for yoga practice during conventional treatment.
In depth semi-structured interviews (n = 10) were conducted in men and women recruited from cancer care clinics in Vancouver, Canada using a purposive sampling technique. The exploratory interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using Interpretive Description methodology and constant comparative analysis methods.
Four themes emerged from the data to address our research objectives: patient-perceived benefits of yoga, reasons and motivations for practising yoga, hurdles and barriers to practising yoga, and advice for effective yoga program delivery in adult cancer. Several patients reported yoga reduced stress and other symptoms associated with cancer treatment. Thematic analysis found the social dimension of group yoga was important, as well as yoga’s ability to encourage personal empowerment and awareness of physical body and self. Barriers to yoga adherence from the patient perspective included lack of time, scheduling conflicts and worries about financial burden.
This small, diverse sample of patients reported positive experiences and no adverse effects following yoga practice for management of cancer and its symptoms. Results of this qualitative study identified patient-reported preferences, barriers and characteristics of yoga intervention optimal during adult cancer treatment.
Yoga; Cancer; Patient; Qualitative analysis; Interview; Interpretive description
Cancer-related fatigue afflicts up to one-third of breast cancer survivors, yet there are no empirically-validated treatments for this symptom.
We performed a two-group RCT to determine the feasibility and efficacy of an Iyengar yoga intervention for breast cancer survivors with persistent post-treatment fatigue. Participants were breast cancer patients who had completed cancer treatments (other than endocrine therapy) at least 6 months prior to enrollment, reported significant cancer-related fatigue, and had no other medical conditions that would account for fatigue symptoms or interfere with yoga practice. Block randomization was used to assign participants to a 12-week Iyengar-based yoga intervention or to 12 weeks of health education (control). The primary outcome was change in fatigue measured at baseline, immediately post-treatment, and 3 months after treatment completion. Additional outcomes included changes in vigor, depressive symptoms, sleep, perceived stress, and physical performance. Intent to treat analyses were conducted with all randomized participants using linear mixed models.
Thirty-one women were randomly assigned to yoga (n = 16) or health education (n = 15). Fatigue severity declined significantly from baseline to post-treatment and over a 3 month follow-up in the yoga group relative to controls (P = .032). In addition, the yoga group showed significant increases in vigor relative to controls (P = .011). Both groups showed positive changes in depressive symptoms and perceived stress (P < .05). No significant changes in sleep or physical performance were observed.
A targeted yoga intervention led to significant improvements in fatigue and vigor among breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue symptoms.
To evaluate the impact of Integral-based hatha yoga in sedentary people with arthritis.
75 sedentary adults aged 18+ with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or knee osteoarthritis (OA) were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of yoga (2 60 min classes and 1 home practice/wk) or waitlist. Poses were modified for individual needs. The primary endpoint was physical health (SF36 Physical Component Summary [PCS]) adjusted for baseline; exploratory adjusted outcomes included fitness, mood, stress, self-efficacy, SF36 health-related quality of life (HRQL) and RA disease activity. In everyone completing yoga, we explored long-term effects at 9 months.
Participants were mostly female (96%), white (55%), and college-educated (51%), with a mean (SD) age of 52 (12). Average disease duration was 9 (9) yrs. and 49% had RA. At 8 weeks, yoga was associated with significantly higher PCS (6.5; 95% CI: 2.0,10.7), walking capacity (125 m; 95% CI:15,235), positive affect (5.2; 95% CI:1.4,8.9) and lower CES-D (−3.0; 95% CI: −4.8,−1.3). Significant (p<.05) improvements were evident in SF36 Role Physical, Pain, General Health, Vitality and Mental Health scales. Balance, grip strength, and flexibility were similar between groups. 22/28 on waitlist completed yoga. Among all yoga participants, significant (p<.05) improvements were observed in mean PCS, flexibility, 6-min walk, all psychological and most HRQL domains at 8 weeks with most still evident 9 months later. Of seven adverse events, none were associated with yoga.
Preliminary evidence suggests yoga classes may help sedentary individuals with arthritis safely increase physical activity and improve physical and psychological health, and HRQL.
yoga; rheumatoid arthritis; osteoarthritis; mobility; HRQL
Menopause is the stage when the menstrual period permanently stops, and is a part of every woman’s life. It usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 years, and is associated with hormonal, physical, and psychological changes. Estrogen and progesterone levels play the biggest part in menopause. In this stage, the ovaries make less estrogen and progesterone. When the body produces less of these hormones, the parts of the body that depend on estrogen to keep them healthy will react and this often causes discomfort for women. This study tested the impact of a complementary health approach to quality of life in menopausal women.
A community-based interventional study was conducted in selected areas in Kattankulathur Block, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu, India. A simple random sampling technique was used to select menopausal women for the study. Of 260 menopausal women identified, 130 were allocated to a study group and 130 to a control group. The study group underwent yoga training for 1.5 hours per day on 5 consecutive days. After the 5-day intensive yoga training program, the menopausal women practiced yoga daily at home for 35–40 minutes a day. Along with daily yoga practice, they underwent group yoga practice for 2 days a week under the supervision of one of the investigators until 18 weeks. The yoga training program consisted of Yogasanas, Pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. The standardized World Health Organization QoL BREF scale was used to assess the women’s quality of life. We distributed an instruction manual on steps of selected yoga practice for the women’s self-reference at home after the 5 days of continuous yoga practice. A yoga practice diary was used to confirm regular performance of yoga. The women in the control group did not participate in the yoga program; however, on completion of the study, these women received intensive yoga training for 5 days.
There was an extremely high statistically significant difference (P=0.001) between the study group and the control group with regard to the physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains of quality of life after 6, 12, and 18 weeks of yoga therapy. The mean gain score was high in all the domains of quality of life in the study group at weeks 6, 12, and 18. The overall mean gain score in the study group was 31.58 versus 1.61 in the control group. The overall mean gain score difference was 29.97 in all domains of quality of life between the study group and the control group. In the study group, the physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains of quality of life were greatly improved by practicing yoga for 18 weeks. No adverse events were reported by the women after yoga practice.
Quality of life in menopausal women was greatly improved after 18 weeks of yoga practice. Women who regularly practice yoga find that they are able to enjoy menopause and experience the freedom, liberation, and energy that it brings. We conclude that yoga is an effective complementary health approach for improving quality of life in menopausal women.
complementary health approach; yoga; quality of life; menopause
Despite the known health benefits of physical activity, participation rates in cancer survivor groups remain low. Researchers have attempted to identify alternative modes of nontraditional physical activities that may increase participation and adherence rates. This study investigated the determinants of yoga in breast cancer survivors.
To examine predictors of Iyengar yoga adherence in breast cancer survivors using the theory of planned behaviour. Settings and Design: Classes were held either in Campus Recreation facilities or at the Behavioral Medicine Fitness Center at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. The study was an evaluation of an existing yoga program.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-three post adjuvant therapy breast cancer survivors participating in a community-based, twice weekly, 12 week Iyengar yoga program were asked to complete baseline measures of the theory of planned behavior, demographic, medical, health/fitness, and psychosocial variables. Adherence was measured by objective attendance to the classes.
We analyzed univariate associations between predictors and yoga adherence with independent t-tests.
Adherence to the Iyengar yoga program was 63.9% and was predicted by stronger intention (P<0.001), greater self-efficacy (P=0.003), more positive instrumental attitude (Ps=0.025), higher disease stage (P=0.018), yoga experience in the past year, (P=0.044), diagnosis of a second cancer (P=0.008), lower fatigue (P=0.037), and greater happiness (P=0.023).
Adherence to Iyengar yoga in breast cancer survivors was strongly related to motivational variables from the theory of planned behaviour. Researchers attempting to improve yoga adherence in breast cancer survivors may benefit from targeting the key constructs in the theory of planned behaviour.
Iyengar yoga; breast cancer; survivorship; correlates; adherence; theory of planned behavior
Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) have an increased risk of obesity and are significantly less likely to engage in physical activity compared to their nondisabled peers. A growing body of research supports the physical and mental health benefits of yoga. While the benefits of yoga have been studied across a host of populations with varying ages and physical disabilities, no studies could be identified investigating the benefits of yoga for young adults with ID.
This study investigated the impact of participating in yoga classes on the amount of exercise behavior and perception of physical exertion when compared to non-structured exercise sessions between two young adults with ID in a post-secondary education setting.
Materials and Methods:
A single subject multiple baseline research design was implemented across two young adults with mild ID to determine the effects of a yoga exercise class on frequency of exercise behavior and perception of physical exertion when compared to non-structured exercise sessions. Partial interval recording, the Eston-Parfitt curvilinear rating of perceived exertion scale, and the physical activity enjoyment scale were implemented to collect data on dependent variables and consumer satisfaction during each non-structured exercise session and each yoga class.
indicated that percentage of exercise behavior and perceived exertion levels during yoga group exercise sharply increased with large effect sizes when compared to non-structured exercise sessions.
Exercise; intellectual disabilities; post-secondary education; yoga
There are limited data on the characteristics of yoga users in the U.S.
To characterize yoga users, medical reasons for use, perceptions of helpfulness, and disclosure of use to medical professionals.
Utilizing cross-sectional survey data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Alternative Medicine Supplement (n = 31044), we examined correlates of yoga use for health. The estimated prevalence from 2002 NHIS of yoga for health was 5.1% corresponding to over 10 million adults.
In 2002, yoga users were predominately Caucasian (85%) and female (76%) with a mean age of 39.5 years. Compared to non-yoga users, yoga users were more likely female (OR 3.76, 95% CI 3.11–4.33); less likely black than white (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.53–0.80); tended to be younger; and more likely college educated (OR 2.70, 95% CI 2.37–3.08). Musculoskeletal conditions (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.42–1.83), mental health conditions (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.22–1.67), severe sprains in the last 12 months (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.22–1.81), and asthma (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.05–1.54) were independently associated with higher yoga use, while hypertension (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64–0.95) and chronic obstructive lung disease (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.48–1.00) were associated with lower use. Yoga was most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal or mental health conditions, and most users reported yoga to be helpful for these conditions. A majority of yoga users (61%) felt yoga was important in maintaining health, though only 25% disclosed yoga practice to their medical professional.
We found that yoga users are more likely to be white, female, young and college educated. Yoga users report benefit for musculoskeletal conditions and mental health, indicating that further research on the efficacy of yoga for the treatment and/or prevention of these conditions is warranted.
yoga; complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); behavioral medicine
Beliefs about yoga may influence participation in yoga and outcomes of yoga interventions. There is currently no scale appropriate for assessing these beliefs in the general U.S. population. This study took the first steps in developing and validating a Beliefs About Yoga Scale (BAYS) to assess beliefs about yoga that may influence people’s engagement in yoga interventions. Items were generated based on previously published research about perceptions of yoga and reviewed by experts within the psychology and yoga communities. 426 adult participants were recruited from an urban medical center to respond to these items. The mean age was 40.7 (SD = 13.5) years. Participants completed the BAYS and seven additional indicators of criterion-related validity. The BAYS demonstrated internal consistency (11 items; α = 0.76) and three factors emerged: expected health benefits, expected discomfort, and expected social norms. The factor structure was confirmed: χ2 (41, n = 213) = 72.06, p < .001; RMSEA =.06, p = .23. Criterion-related validity was supported by positive associations of the BAYS with past experiences and future intentions related to yoga. This initial analysis of the BAYS demonstrated that it is an adequately reliable and valid measure of beliefs about yoga with a three-factor structure. However, the scale may need to be modified based on the population to which it is applied.
yoga; mind-body therapies; health; self-efficacy; behavior change; social norms
Depending on interest, knowledge, and skills, oncologists are adapting clinical behaviour to include integrative approaches, supporting patients to make informed complementary care decisions. The present study sought to improve the knowledge base in three ways:
Test the acceptability of a self-reported online survey for oncologists.Provide preliminary data collection concerning knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and current referral practices among oncologists with respect to yoga in adult cancer.List the perceived benefits of and barriers to yoga intervention from a clinical perspective.
A 38-item self-report questionnaire was administered online to medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists in British Columbia.
Some of the 29 oncologists who completed the survey (n = 10) reported having recommended yoga to patients to improve physical activity, fatigue, stress, insomnia, and muscle or joint stiffness. Other responding oncologists were hesitant or unlikely to suggest yoga for their patients because they had no knowledge of yoga as a therapy (n = 15) or believed that scientific evidence to support its use is lacking (n = 11). All 29 respondents would recommend that their patients participate in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of yoga. In qualitative findings, oncologists compared yoga with exercise and suggested that it might have similar psychological and physical health benefits that would improve patient capacity to endure treatment. Barriers to and limitations of yoga in adult cancer are also discussed.
An online self-report survey is feasible, but has response rate limitations. A small number of oncologists are currently recommending yoga to improve health-related outcomes in adult cancer. Respondents would support clinical yoga interventions to improve the evidence base in cancer patients, including men and women in all tumour groups.
Yoga; oncologists; surveys; cam
Focus Area: Integrative Approaches to Care
The Yoga Empowers Seniors Study (YESS) was an intervention development study (IDS) that used biomechanical investigation (high-speed cameras, force platforms, and musculoskeletal modeling) to quantify the physical demands of yoga performance by older adults. Secondarily, the YESS used physical-performance testing, muscle-performance testing, and flexibility and balance assessments to quantify the efficacy and safety of a 32-week yoga program for ambulatory seniors. The yoga program was divided into introductory and intermediate phases, each lasting 16 weeks. The participants (N=24; mean 70.7 years of age) learned the associated yoga poses (asanas) from a yoga instructor with expertise working with seniors. In order to quantify the physical demands of the program, the participants performed the asanas at the termination of each phase while instrumented for biomechanical analysis. Follow-up physical performance and balance assessments were conducted at the end of each phase in order to determine the efficacy of the program. Outcome measures included biomechanical indices of the physical demands associated with yoga (joint range-of-motion, joint moments), measures of muscular and functional performance (stair climb, chair stand, gait, strength, and static and dynamic balance), adherence, and safety. Data from the IDS will be used to develop evidenced-based yoga prescriptions, which we postulate will be associated with fewer musculoskeletal side effects compared to non–evidence-based yoga programs. We also postulate that evidenced-based tailoring of yoga for seniors will enhance adherence and efficacy.