Yoga for Children and Adolescents Affected by Cancer or Blood Disease
Committee MemberSung, Lillian
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AbstractChildren and adolescents (≤18 years of age) affected by cancer or blood disease face significant negative effects due to their disease and treatments. Yoga is one strategy that has been highlighted as safe, feasible, and potentially beneficial in experimental studies for this population. However, significant gaps and limitations exist in the current evidence and practice. First, efforts to collate a growing body of experimental evidence reporting on the effects of yoga are scarce, leaving the breadth of available evidence, the possible effects of yoga, and gaps and limitations in the evidence unknown. Second, despite the potential benefits of yoga, there are relatively few programs being delivered. Moving evidence to practice may be fostered by gathering feedback from key stakeholders, including the yoga instructors - who play a critical role in the safe and effective delivery of these programs. Therefore, the studies comprising this thesis sought to lay a foundation for future research and practice by summarizing the evidence to date reporting on the effects of yoga, and exploring yoga instructors’ lived experiences preparing for and facilitating yoga, for children and adolescents affected by cancer or blood disease. First, a systematic review was conducted wherein eight electronic databases and one trial registry were searched for experimental articles reporting on the effects of yoga for children and adolescents affected by cancer or blood disease. Results were summarized narratively. Across the eleven included studies, wide variability in the literature exists, and while yoga may promote benefits, several limitations in the current evidence were identified. Second, an interpretive description study was conducted via semi-structured interviews with fourteen yoga instructors who had experience facilitating yoga for this population. Data were analyzed using principles of interpretive description and thematic analysis. Findings from this interpretive description study highlight limitations in the yoga instructor training, and the necessity of prioritizing safe, effective, and accessible yoga delivery. Collectively, the studies in this thesis offer important foundational research and practical information, support the continued study and use of yoga as a supportive care resource for children and adolescents affected by cancer or blood disease.
CitationEllis, K. (2021). Yoga for Children and Adolescents Affected by Cancer or Blood Disease (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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