Meditation and Yoga for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Adrijana D'Silva, Deborah A. Marshall, Jeff K. Vallance, Yasmin Nasser, Vidya Rajagopalan, Jessie H. Szostakiwskyj, Maitreyi Raman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION:Delivered in person, yoga is effective in managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. The evidence for efficacy, feasibility, and safety of virtually delivered yoga for patients with IBS is unknown.METHODS:Adults diagnosed with IBS were randomized to either Hatha yoga intervention of 8 weekly online classes delivered virtually or an advice-only control group and assessed at baseline and postintervention. We used an unadjusted ANOVA to determine differences between and within groups on the primary outcome (decrease of ≥50 points in IBS Symptom Severity Scale [IBS-SSS]) and secondary outcomes (quality of life, anxiety and depression, fatigue, somatic symptoms, perceived stress, COVID-19 stress, and self-compassion). We assessed feasibility through recruitment and attrition rates, adherence, participant satisfaction, and safety (i.e., adverse events).RESULTS:Seventy-nine people participated (mean age 45.4 years [SD = 14.0], 92% women, 20% attrition rate). IBS-SSS decreased significantly in the treatment group (Δchange= 54.7, P = 0.028), but not in the control group (Δchange= 22.6, P = 0.277). Fourteen patients (37%) in the yoga group reached a clinically relevant decrease of ≥50 points on the IBS-SSS postintervention compared with 8 patients (20%) in the control group (P = 0.242). No significant difference was found between groups in IBS-SSS score postintervention (P = 0.149), but significant differences in favor of the treatment group for quality of life (P = 0.030), fatigue (P = 0.035), and perceived stress (P = 0.040) were identified. The yoga program demonstrated feasibility. Intention to practice yoga decreased significantly in both groups from baseline to postintervention (P < 0.001). However, the decline in intention did not correlate with practice minutes.DISCUSSION:Virtually delivered yoga is safe and feasible, and effective in reducing IBS symptoms. Based on the primary end point, the intervention was not superior to an advice-only control group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb. 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Meditation and Yoga for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this