Abstract

The positive health effects of yoga have led physical therapists (PTs) to integrate elements of the discipline into their treatments in some settings. Formal PT education includes limited, if any, training in yoga, and there is no system in place to provide education on safely implementing therapeutic yoga (TY) as an adjunctive treatment approach. The purposes of this study were to: (1) assess the readiness of PTs (those who do not currently prescribe TY to patients) to integrate TY into treatment, and (2) determine the feasibility of a 5-week online TY training to improve the readiness of PTs to utilize TY in their practices. Licensed PTs (n = 103) were recruited nationally through social media and email. Eligible and consented PTs registered for a 5-week online TY training course. PTs' perceptions of TY and the role of safety and confidence in prescribing TY to patients were measured at baseline and postintervention. Feasibility outcomes were measured after completion of the course. Benchmarks included: (1) > 70% of PTs would find the course acceptable; (2) > 60% would finish the course; and (3) there would be significant improvements in PTs' perceptions of TY. A total of 95 eligible PTs consented and registered for the course, with 60 (63.1%) completing the intervention. Prior to the training, most PTs felt they were not ready (n = 19/60, 31.7%) or somewhat ready (n = 25/60, 41.7%) to integrate TY. More than half thought the online training was acceptable (n = 50/60, 83.3%) and finished the course (n = 60/95, 63.1%). There were significant improvements in personal readiness and confidence to safely prescribe TY, current understanding/knowledge of TY, and feeling adequately trained to use some form of TY with patients. A 5-week online TY training course is feasible to deliver for improving PTs' readiness to prescribe TY. Future studies are proposed to test the effectiveness of TY training and education with PTs.

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