Co-creating a yoga program for adults diagnosed with gynecologic cancer


Background: Adults diagnosed with gynecologic cancer report acute and chronic disturbances in wellbeing and quality of life, which may be alleviated by participating in yoga. This study aimed to co-create a yoga program through patient and public involvement to ensure the program matches end-users' needs. Methods: Using a consensus development panel methodology, 8 adults diagnosed with gynecologic cancer, 13 yoga instructors, and 3 researchers with backgrounds in yoga for wellness were recruited across Canada and the USA to participate in a 1-day meeting via Microsoft Teams. The meeting consisted of breakout sessions and large group discussions to gather insights on: program structure, accessible and inclusive language, program content, supplemental program features, and priority outcomes to assess in future research. Results: A categorization matrix was used to organize consensus meeting dialogue and was triangulated with the researchers' observations and meeting notes. Data were synthesized to inform the creation of a 12-week program and instructor manual. The proposed program is designed to offer two 60-minute group-based Hatha yoga classes/week to 5 to 7 participants/class, online or in-person. The program also includes group discussions after classes, journaling, and an online database of short videos to support at-home practice as supplemental features. Conclusions: This study was pivotal in creating an inclusive yoga program and instructor manual to guide delivery that can empower adults with gynecologic cancer. Studies are needed to establish the effects of the program on adults diagnosed with gynecologic cancer and understand how it can be sustainably translated from research into practice.

Acknowledgments: This study was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant (ID: 892-2021-1002)