Purpose: To explore participants’ experiences in a group-based yoga with psychoeducation intervention designed to facilitate community integration for people with traumatic brain injury and their caregivers.
Materials and methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 people with traumatic brain injury and three caregivers who had completed LoveYourBrain Yoga, a 6-session, manualized, group-based yoga intervention that incorporates breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and psychoeducation. Interviews were analyzed using content analysis.
Results: We identified seven themes: ease of participation, belonging, sustaining community connection, physical health, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and resilience. All participants valued the community-based yoga studio environment and multifaceted structure of the program. Participants reported improvements in strength, balance, flexibility, and attention control, and a greater sense of belonging, community connection, and ability to move forward with their lives. Participants reported ongoing use of tools (e.g., breathing exercises) to cope with negative emotions and stress. About half of participants sustained relationships built during LoveYourBrain Yoga and felt more capable of accessing other activities in their community.
Conclusions: LoveYourBrain Yoga successfully promoted community integration for people with traumatic brain injury. It also facilitated diverse and meaningful physical, psychological, and social health benefits, which suggest that it may be an effective mode of community-based rehabilitation.
- Implications for rehabilitation
- Traumatic brain injury survivors often struggle to participate in their community, the ultimate goal of rehabilitation
- Yoga is a holistic therapy with many benefits, yet is not accessible to the traumatic brain injury population at the community level
- Participants in a community-based yoga with psychoeducation intervention in six states experienced diverse and meaningful physical, psychological, and social health benefits
- Group-based yoga with psychoeducation may be an effective mode of community integration and community-based rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury survivors