UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Designing an accessible group yoga class for adults with aphasia post-stroke. Phase one : qualitative interviews Ross, Kelsea Michelle


Background: Yoga is a community-based activity with great potential psychosocial and physical benefit to stroke survivors, one in three of whom has chronic aphasia. People with aphasia post-stroke may be unable to experience the benefits of yoga due to unique environmental factors that impact their participation; therefore, yoga classes need to be made more accessible for these individuals. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore barriers and facilitators to participation in a group yoga class for people with aphasia post-stroke from the perspective of people with aphasia, allied health professionals, and yoga instructors. Methods and Procedures: This study, underpinned by the critical paradigm, was the first phase of a participatory action research (PAR) project. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 4 people with aphasia, 4 allied health professionals, and 4 yoga instructors. All participants had knowledge or experience with both aphasia and yoga. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Member checking and peer debriefing were used to enhance rigour. Results: Analysis of participant interviews revealed 44 barriers grouped into 11 categories and 56 facilitators grouped into 11 categories. Barrier categories included: lack of collaboration with key stakeholders; lack of aphasia awareness in the yoga facility; advertising strategies are not aphasia-friendly; lack of participatory support from yoga provider and social network; yoga instructor does not have the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes; class composition and structure is not aphasia-friendly; and complex communication requirements. Facilitator categories included: collaboration with key stakeholders; aphasia education in the yoga facility; aphasia-friendly advertising strategies; additional participatory support from yoga provider and social network; yoga instructor has the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes; aphasia-friendly class composition and structure; and supported communication in the yoga facility. Conclusion: Results may guide the development of a communicatively accessible group yoga class for people with aphasia-post stroke in the future. Collaboration between the yoga provider and the specific group of yoga students with aphasia may be integral to class success and longevity. Further research investigating the validity of study results in a real-life context is indicated.

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