P573 A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Yoga in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Preliminary Findings

Alycia Leiby, MD
Alycia Leiby, MD

Author Insight from Alycia Leiby, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Goryeb Children’s Hospital Atlantic Health System, Morristown , NJ

What’s new here and important for clinicians?
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in pediatric IBD patients is high with 40-50% of families using some type of CAM as part of their child’s IBD treatment plan and up to 90% interested in CAM. Many families feel overwhelmed and that they lack control at the time of their child’s diagnosis. Combining the use of CAM with conventional therapies may empower parents and also strengthen the therapeutic alliance between the parent, patient and health care team. Yoga is a mind-body practice that is used by greater than a million children in the United States, although it is one of CAM modalities that is less frequently used by pediatric IBD patients. Yoga may be well suited as an adjunct to conventional IBD therapy to decrease stress, provide a greater sense of bodily control, and improve quality of life. Our research is the first to investigate the use of yoga for IBD. Preliminary results suggest a trend toward improved self-efficacy and health related quality of life with no adverse effects.

Yoga picture one
Pediatric gastroenterology patient and yoga instructor in the Yoga for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel disease research trial.

What do patients need to know?
Many parent and patients are interested in using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as part of their IBD treatment plan. It is our belief that through education and active participation in the formulation and execution of their treatment plans, patients with IBD can achieve the best outcomes. Therefore, as with all treatment options, patients should be encouraged to discuss CAM with their health care team.

We also believe that much more research is needed to understand the potential role of CAM in treating IBD and this served as the impetus for this study. Although yoga is commonly practiced by many children throughout the United States, recent studies have suggested that it is not often used by pediatric IBD patients. Our research suggests yoga may be useful for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as it can improve their quality of life and sense of self-efficacy, which is a person’s belief about their ability to influence events that affect their lives.

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Author Contact
Alycia Leiby, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Goryeb Children’s Hospital Atlantic Health System, Morristown , NJ

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