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      A Qualitative Study Exploring Community Yoga Practice in Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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          Objective: Yoga may improve physical function and reduce disease symptoms in adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, little is known about how patients with RA are practicing yoga in the community. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore community yoga practice characteristics and thoughts about yoga practice for adults with RA.

          Design: Participants completed a semi-structured telephone interview with open-ended questions. Thematic analysis was used to analyze interview transcripts.

          Participants: A convenience sample of 17 adults with rheumatologist-diagnosed RA who had participated in yoga within the past year were asked about the decision to start, continue, and stop yoga; the perceived benefits of yoga; components of yoga sessions; and general thoughts about yoga as it relates to RA.

          Results: Although eight different styles of yoga were practiced, commonalities in yoga class components (such as stretching, strengthening, deep breathing, meditation, and positive messaging from the instructor) reveal examples of preferred types of yoga for patients with RA. Three main themes emerged, each with multiple subthemes: (1) motivators (physical fitness, influence of others, reduced price), (2) barriers (cost, symptom burden, class difficulty), and (3) benefits of yoga practice (mind–body, a tool for coping, pride/achievement, social, and “yoga meets you where you are”).

          Conclusion: In this study, patients with RA described how yoga practice helped improve physical and psychosocial symptoms related to their disease. Yoga practice, a dynamic exercise, encompassing many different styles, can provide many benefits for adults with RA; however, yoga may not be beneficial for every adult with RA.

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          Author and article information

          J Altern Complement Med
          J Altern Complement Med
          Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
          Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (140 Huguenot Street, 3rd FloorNew Rochelle, NY 10801USA )
          01 June 2017
          01 June 2017
          : 23
          : 6
          : 487-493
          [ 1 ] University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing , Philadelphia, PA.
          [ 2 ] University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine , Philadelphia, PA.
          [ 3 ] University of California San Francisco School of Nursing , San Francisco, CA.
          [ 4 ] University of California San Francisco School of Medicine , San Francisco, CA.
          Author notes
          Address correspondence to: Heather Greysen, RN, NP, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing 3615 Chestnut Street, Ralston-Penn Center, Room 329, Philadelphia, PA 19104, E-mail: hgreysen@ 123456nursing.upenn.edu
          PMC5488310 PMC5488310 5488310 10.1089/acm.2016.0156
          Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
          Page count
          Tables: 5, References: 31, Pages: 7
          Original Articles


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