Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, disabling condition that greatly compromises patient functioning. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a 6-week, twice/week Iyengar yoga (IY) program on pain, symptoms and functioning of adolescents and young adults with IBS compared to a usual-care waitlist control group. Assessments were collected pre- and post- treatment. A total of 51 participants completed the intervention (yoga = 29; usual care waitlist = 22). The yoga group included 18 adolescents (14-17 years) and 11 young adults (18-26 years); the control group included 12 adolescents and 10 young adults. Baseline attrition was 24%. On average, participants in the yoga group attended 75% of the yoga classes. Analyses were divided by age-group. Relative to controls, adolescents assigned to the yoga program reported significantly improved physical functioning; relative to controls, young adults assigned to the yoga program reported significantly improved IBS symptoms, global improvement, physical functioning, functional disability, psychological distress, sleep quality, and fatigue. The findings suggest that a brief IY intervention is a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for young people with IBS, leading to benefits in a number of IBS specific and general functioning domains for young adults. Moreover, the age-specific results suggest that yoga interventions may be most fruitful when developmentally tailored.
© 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.