Yoga–a laborious way to well-being: patients’ experiences of yoga as a treatment for hypertension in primary care

Moa Wolff, Annika Brorsson, Patrik Midlöv, Kristina Sundquist, Eva Lena Strandberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to describe patients’ experience of yoga as a treatment for hypertension, as well as their experience of living with hypertension. Design: Qualitative interview study Method and materials: In 2013–2014, in southern Sweden, patients with hypertension from three health care centres were invited to participate in a randomised controlled trial on yoga for hypertension. After completion of the study, eight women and five men (aged 35–79), who had practiced the yoga intervention, were interviewed about their experiences. We used a semi-structured interview guide according to Kvale. Qualitative analysis was conducted by systematic text condensation inspired by Malterud. Results: Two main themes emerged during the analysis process: Yoga–a laborious way to well-being and hypertension–a silent disease. The positive experiences of doing yoga were described in terms of tranquillity and increased agility. The drawbacks were mainly linked to the time required to perform the exercises. Living with high blood pressure and having to take medication can imply a stigma and cause concerns for future cardiovascular events. Most patients that we interviewed expressed a wish to find alternative ways to treat their high blood pressure. Participating in the yoga study was seen as a good possibility to try such an alternative way. Conclusions: Many patients with hypertension in Swedish primary care seem to be interested in trying alternative treatments to control blood pressure. The patients in our study experienced several benefits from doing yoga, but they also pointed out difficulties in implementing yoga as a regular and permanent lifestyle change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • hypertension
  • primary care
  • quality of life
  • stress

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