Experiences of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients in a Virtual Yoga Program: Qualitative Findings from a Clinical Trial

Adrijana D’Silva, Zarmina Islam, Deborah A. Marshall, Jeff K. Vallance, Yasmin Nasser, Vidya Rajagopalan, Gail MacKean, Maitreyi Raman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and Aims: In-person yoga interventions have shown feasibility and effectiveness in improving the outcomes of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but experiences in virtual yoga interventions have not been examined. This study aimed to explore patients’ experiences of a virtually delivered yoga intervention for IBS. Methods: An embedded qualitative substudy was included in a randomized controlled trial examining the feasibility and effectiveness of a virtual yoga program among adult patients with IBS. Semi-structured interviews captured participants’ past and current experiences, program satisfaction, perceived impact on IBS symptoms and overall physical and mental health, facilitators and barriers to participation, perceptions of social support and supervised learning, and input on improving future programming. Data were coded and analyzed in duplicate using NVivo 12. An analytic template based on the interview guide was developed and thematic analysis identified themes, as well as the relationship between themes and subthemes. Results: Among the 14 participants (all female, mean age 47.7 years), three major themes were identified: (1) positive experience in the yoga program, (2) incorporating yoga into IBS management post-study, and (3) recommendations for program improvement. Conclusion: Patients with IBS experience in a virtual yoga program was positive with improvements in physical and mental health outcomes. Considering the barriers and facilitators to participating in an online yoga program along with participant recommendations may improve future intervention design and delivery to increase self-efficacy and confidence among patients with IBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2024


  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Meditation
  • Qualitative
  • Virtual health
  • Yoga


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