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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Aug;59(2):244-53. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000366.

Iyengar yoga for adolescents and young adults with irritable bowel syndrome.

Author information

1
Pediatric Pain Program, University of California, Los Angeles.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

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.

METHODS:

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).

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
25025601
PMCID:
PMC4146428
DOI:
10.1097/MPG.0000000000000366
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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