Establishing a yoga program in response to patient-reported experience measures within a brain injury rehabilitation unit

Rebecca Seeney1,2, Janelle Griffin1

1Occupational Therapy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, 2The Hopkins Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Background: An acquired brain injury (ABI) is defined as any injury occurring in the brain after birth. Leisure provides an important mechanism by which persons following ABI can access meaningful, goal directed activity. However, ABI impacts on participation in leisure activities both in the short and long term and significantly during hospitalisation. Consideration of leisure participation and relationship to life satisfaction is of relevance to Occupational Therapy because of the role that leisure can plan in the maintenance of health. The aim of this study is to describe the processes involved in establishing a yoga program in an inpatient brain injury rehabilitation unit and to explore patients’ perceived levels of satisfaction with the yoga program.

Method: The yoga program was established following a review of patient satisfaction results with the health delivery in an inpatient rehabilitation unit of a metropolitan hospital. Thirty-one participants were recruited to this mixed methods, pilot experimental study. Quantitative data was collected to evaluate satisfaction with the program and the impact of yoga participation on relaxation and wellbeing of participants. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structured interviews; exploring experiences and perceptions of yoga in providing a meaningful rehabilitation experience.

Results: Participants reported very high levels of satisfaction with the yoga program. They described yoga as an inclusive and adaptable occupation which provided opportunity for increased engagement in meaningful activities and described how the yoga program enhanced their experience of the rehabilitation environment.

Conclusion: This study provides a unique insight into the establishment of a yoga program within a brain injury rehabilitation unit in response to consumer feedback. With appropriate infrastructure, there are many benefits to establishing a yoga program within an inpatient hospital rehabilitation setting. A yoga program may be beneficial in providing opportunity for structured leisure participation in an activity that is meaningful, adaptable and inclusive.


Rebecca is an Occupational Therapist within the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. She has worked extensively across acute, sub-acute and outpatient rehabilitation services. Rebecca has had a continued interest in research and is now working in a dual clinical and research role, having successfully obtained the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services Research Practitioner position, a joint position with the PAH Occupational Therapy Department and The Hopkins Centre, (Division of Rehabilitation, MSHHS and Griffith University). The aim of this role is to lead on service development, close-to-practice research initiatives and knowledge translation with an aim to increase patient outcomes and service capacity.

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