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Papers of the Week

2022 Jan 01

Int J Yoga Therap



Assessing the Acceptability of Yoga Among Patients with and without Chronic Pain Enrolled in a Licensed Opioid Treatment Program.


Ahmadi E, Evans C, Agin-Liebes G, Tompkins D A
Int J Yoga Therap. 2022 Jan 01; 32(2022).
PMID: 35377949.


There is a pressing need to identify non-opioid, evidence-based treatments to address the high prevalence of chronic pain in licensed opioid treatment programs (OTP). Yoga is an effective pain coping strategy but is not widely used by OTP patients. Few studies have examined underlying factors related to poor yoga utilization in this population. Seventy-one participants with and without chronic pain enrolled in a hospital-based OTP completed an acceptability survey assessing pain, current pain coping strategies, prior yoga experience, willingness to try yoga, and beliefs about yoga. Participants with and without chronic pain were compared, as were participants with and without prior yoga experience. The relationships between primary study variables in the chronic pain group were also explored. Participants reported using over-the-counter medications, meditation, stretching, and exercise to manage chronic pain, but yoga was not commonly used. Participants with prior yoga experience reported higher willingness to try yoga and more favorable beliefs about yoga than participants without prior yoga experience. There were no significant differences in willingness to try yoga between participants with and without chronic pain. Among participants with chronic pain, there was a positive association between total number of pain coping strategies used and willingness to try yoga. This study adds to the existing literature on the implementation of yoga programs into OTPs by demonstrating the acceptability of yoga in patients with opioid use disorder, including those experiencing chronic pain, and encourages additional research exploring implementation.