Perceptions of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients Participating in an Online Yoga Intervention: A Qualitative Study

Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Dec;17(4):1150-1162. doi: 10.1177/1534735418808595. Epub 2018 Oct 23.


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are rare hematological malignancies with a significant symptom burden often left unresolved despite recent advances in pharmacological therapy. Yoga is a nonpharmacological strategy that has been shown to improve symptoms in other cancers and may be effective for improving symptoms in MPN patients. Online yoga helps address many of the commonly reported barriers of cancer patients to in-person interventions and may make yoga more accessible to MPNs. An exploration of MPN patient perceptions of participation in online yoga is needed to tailor interventions to patient needs and inform future studies. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of MPN patients participating in a 12-week online yoga intervention. This article represents the combined qualitative interview data from two studies. Participants were asked to complete 60 min/wk of online, home-based yoga and were asked to participate in a 15- to 20-minute phone interview postintervention. The qualitative data was coded in NVivo 11 for content analysis. The total sample included 39 MPN patients. Online yoga was well accepted and liked among these patients. They reported physical (eg, improved sleep, reduced fatigue) and mental (eg, reduced stress) health benefits and liked the convenience of being able to do yoga at home. Online yoga provides a feasible and attractive format through which to deliver a nonpharmacological intervention among MPN patients. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the effects of online yoga on MPN patient symptoms. The qualitative findings presented here help inform the development of these future trials.

Keywords: cancer; complementary; mind-body; mindfulness; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Yoga / psychology*