A qualitative investigation to inform yoga intervention recruitment practices for racial/ethnic minority adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment
Abstract: Yoga is recognized as an effective approach to improving overall physical and mental health; however, there may be perceived barriers to yoga participation, particularly among populations most at risk for mental health issues. We conducted qualitative formative research to help inform recruitment practices for a future study and to specifically understand the barriers and facilitators to engagement in yoga practice among racial/ethnic minority adolescents, as well as adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment.
Methods: Qualitative data were collected at a community health clinic that serves low income families in southeastern Florida. Using semi structured interviews with racial and ethnic minority adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, participants were asked about beliefs and perceptions about yoga, as well as recommendations on recruiting peers. A thematic analysis approach was used to identify and examine common themes.
Results: Twenty interviews were conducted and eight major themes emerged from the data. Themes were grouped as (1) Facilitators to recruitment and (2) Barriers to recruitment.
Interpretation: Advertising free yoga that emphasizes the social, physical, and mental benefits can help assuage negative perceptions of yoga and promote the advantages of yoga among teenagers. Having recruitment materials and modalities that highlight inclusivity of all genders and physical abilities in the yoga classes are also important in facilitating participation. Understanding perceptions of yoga, as well as perceived barriers and facilitators, among racially/ethnically diverse adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment, can assist recruitment efforts, increase yoga intervention participation, and ultimately, improve mental health outcomes for underserved populations.
Spadola, C. E., Varga, L. M., Fernandez, S. B., Clarke, R. D., Morris, S. L., Wagner, E. F., & Hospital, M. (2019). A qualitative investigation to inform yoga intervention recruitment practices for racial/ethnic minority adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment. EXPLORE, 16(1), 21-25. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2019.07.011