8 March 2018
Vidhi Sodhi, a CNHC registered Yoga Therapist and Yoga Therapy Profession Specific Board member, writes about the Yoga Therapy Service Evaluation at the London North West NHS Trust...
Vidhi, centre, with Imperial Medical students involved in the study
I recently collaborated with a leading Rheumatologist to design a service evaluation of Yoga-Therapy for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at the Central Middlesex Hospital, part of the London North West NHS Foundation Trust. This was a very exciting undertaking, as from my understanding, this was the first time that a one-to-one Yoga Therapy was delivered in an NHS hospital setting. My registration with CNHC gave confidence to the Rheumatologist, Rheumatology staff, and patients to participate in this service evaluation.
The study examined the impact of Yoga Therapy on improving a patient’s quality of life, through management of stress and other comorbidities such as anxiety & depression. We developed the objectives for the study based on feedback from a patient support group at Central Middlesex Hospital. These patients expressed a need for Mind-Body interventions in the management of their long-term conditions (LTC), such as Yoga Therapy.
Yoga Therapy sessions were funded by the NHS and held in the Rheumatology department of the Central Middlesex Hospital. Patients received one-to-one sessions on a weekly basis initially, and then on a bi-weekly basis. Each session comprised of tools that are offered within yoga and are applied and tailored to the needs of each participant.
The results have been outstanding with improvements in all the study objectives. Verbal feedback in the form of semi-structured interviews is captured by the researchers at the University of Westminster and is being currently analysed for a full report. A post study meeting with the CMH patient group was held where the results were discussed and further need of this service to be an integral part of our healthcare system was discussed.
The success of this pilot service evaluation can offer a holistic, integrated form of treatment that matches with the NHS’s Five Year Forward View and I hope it can offer a guide for secondary rollout to other clinics responsible for management of LTCs.
Feedback from a patient involved in the study:
“Since starting yoga therapy in May, my overall health is a lot better compared to before the yoga therapy. My pain levels have improved, being from regular pain to minimal pain. Over the course of the yoga therapy the movement in right wrist is far more than what it was before. The exercises that she tailored to suit me have been really good and easy to follow. She has always been accommodating with regards to times of the sessions and has worked around me. Yoga Therapy has helped me relax and remain calmer; my mind is less active and doesn't feel overworked. I feel Yoga Therapy should be an integrated service offered to assist patients as it has been beneficial to me.”
Vidhi after receiving second place in the ‘Inspiration Award’ from Holistic Therapist Magazine