People with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience lifelong sequelae that affect physical, cognitive, and mental health. In other populations, yoga has shown potential to alleviate insomnia, pain, and depression and to improve cognition.
The study intended to investigate the feasibility of a six-week, group-yoga intervention for adults with severe chronic TBI, focusing on sleep, pain, mood, and executive function.
The research team performed a feasibility study using a mixed-methods, case-series design.
The study recruited participants by distributing flyers to local communities and TBI support groups.
Participants were two people with severe, chronic, TBI.
The intervention was a six-week course of group yoga, with 70-minute classes twice a week.
The study assessed outcomes at baseline and postintervention using validated measures to assess executive function, mood, sleep, and pain: the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS). A semistructured interview was conducted during the week postintervention to obtain qualitative data.
The study had a 100% retention rate, a 91.67% attendance rate, and high satisfaction. One participant demonstrated improvement in all outcomes, while the other showed mixed results. Depression showed the most consistent improvement, 47.2% on average. For insomnia, one participant showed improved sleep at 14.29%. The qualitative data demonstrated positive changes in cognition, mood, sleep, and pain.
A six-week group yoga intervention is feasible and appears to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms, especially depression and insomnia, in people with severe chronic TBI. A longer intervention period was suggested by the participants.