Determining the Readiness for Integrating Yoga Therapeutics into Rehabilitation for Physical Therapists
The positive impacts of yoga on stress, pain, and chronic disease has recently led to the integration of yoga as part of physical therapy (PT) treatment. Due to the lack of training for PTs related to yoga, there is currently a need to provide knowledge and education about how to safely and easily implement therapeutic yoga (TY) as a complementary treatment approach.
The purpose of this study was to assess the readiness of PTs (those who do not currently prescribe TY to patients) to integrate TY into treatment, and secondly, the feasibility (i.e., acceptability, demand, and practicality) of a 5-week online TY training to improve the readiness of PT’s to utilize TY in their practice.
Licensed Physical Therapist’s (n=103) were recruited nationally through social media and email. Eligible and consented participants were asked to register in a 5-week online TY training course, Readiness for Integrating Yoga Therapeutics into Rehabilitation for PTs (intervention). PTs perceptions of TY and the role of safety and confidence in prescribing TY to patients were measured at baseline and post-intervention using a customized survey. Feasibility outcomes were measured after completion of the 5-week online training course with a survey. Feasibility was measured with acceptability, demand, and practicality. Our benchmarks included: (1) at least 70% of PTs would find the course acceptable, (2) at least 60% would finish the course (i.e., demand) and (3) there would be significant improvements in PTs perceptions of TY.
A total of 95 licensed PTs registered in the 5-week online TY training course, with 60 PTs (63%) completing the intervention and surveys. Of the PTs who completed the 5-week online training course, most PTs felt they were not ready (n=19/60, 31.7%) or somewhat ready (n=25/60, 41.7%) to integrate TY prior to taking the online training. Over half of PTs thought the online training was acceptable (n= 50/60, 83.3%) and finished the course (n=60/95, 63%). There were significant improvements in personal readiness to prescribe TY, safety prescribing TY, confidence to prescribe TY, current understanding/knowledge of TY and feeling adequately trained and educated to use some form of TY techniques with patients.
Findings suggest a 5-week online TY training course is feasible in improving PTs readiness to prescribe TY, safety prescribing TY, confidence to prescribe TY, current understanding/knowledge of TY and feeling adequately trained and educated to use some form of TY techniques with patients. Future studies are proposed to test the effectiveness of TY training and education opportunities with PTs to further advance the adoption of TY into PT practice.