Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) often leads to poor balance, increased falls, and fear of falling, all of which can reduce participation in life activities. Yoga, which usually includes physical exercise, can improve functioning and life participation; however, limited research has been conducted on the effects of yoga on life participation of individuals with PD. This study had two purposes: (1) to identify and understand the perceived activities and participation outcomes associated a therapeutic yoga intervention for individuals with PD; and (2) to compare the perceived activities and participation outcomes with the outcomes measured in the clinical trial. A single-blind, randomized, waitlist-controlled, phase II exploratory pilot study using an after-trial embedded mixed methods design (clinical trial Pro00041068) evaluated the effect of an 8-week Hatha Yoga intervention on individuals with PD. Directed content analysis was used to analyze focus group interviews with participants who completed the yoga intervention. Quantitative and qualitative data were merged and compared using a data comparison matrix. Qualitative analysis indicated many activities and participation outcomes. Comparison of qualitative and quantitative data indicated the yoga intervention led to improved balance, mobility, and functional gait, and fewer falls. These outcomes reached beyond the intervention and into participants' daily lives. Results support the use of Hatha Yoga as a community-based rehabilitation intervention for individuals with PD. Yoga, as part of an interdisciplinary approach to treatment, can improve many types of activities and participation outcomes (e.g., mobility, social relationships, self-care, handling stress, recreation).

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