Exploring the effects of Tibetan Yoga on patients' quality of life and experience of lymphoma: An experimental embedded mixed methods study

Isabel Leal, The University of Texas School of Public Health


As an emergent model of care combining conventional with complementary therapies, integrative medicine challenges evaluation, necessitating approaches capable of capturing complex, multilevel effects. Our understanding of the multidimensional effects of integrative interventions risks being impoverished if viewed from a single dimension. This study presents an experimental embedded mixed methods design evaluating the effects of a Tibetan Yoga (TY) intervention on lymphoma patients'quality of life and cancer experience. Participants were 16 lymphoma patients receiving or having received treatment within the prior 12 months. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently from the same participants. Quantitative consisted of various surveys evaluating psychosocial, physical, and spiritual domains, and qualitative, written responses to 3 narrative questions focusing on patients' experience of cancer, at four time periods: baseline,1-week, 1-month and 3-month post-intervention. Results of the two data sets were compared to elucidate findings and clarify congruent and divergent patterns in patient profiles. Qualitative findings between the TY and wait-list group were also compared for salient differences. Convergence, divergence and contradiction were found between the two data sets. The qualitative data served to explain, elucidate and expand upon findings and discrepancies between data sets and captured experiential effects beyond the pre-set measurements of the quantitative instruments. While the quantitative data identified patients' profiles, illustrating emergent concepts. The theme of acceptance was significantly more prominent in narratives in the TY - 85.7%, compared to control group - 22%, indicating positive psychological adjustment. A finding captured by qualitative, but not quantitative methods. Comparing and integrating data and findings from quantitative and qualitative methods resulted in a more complete understanding of research questions than either approach singularly, capturing experiential effects meaningful to patients and recognizing a more comprehensive range of patient outcomes. Incorporating a qualitative component within this RCT grounded experimental research-based results within the real-world context of patients' lives contributing to research focused on translation, dissemination and implementation. The integration of both methods within this study resulted in an innovative, emergent evaluative approach and framework that expanded upon the limitations of either approach allowing for a comprehensive understanding of both the processes and outcomes of this TY intervention.

Subject Area

Alternative Medicine|Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Leal, Isabel, "Exploring the effects of Tibetan Yoga on patients' quality of life and experience of lymphoma: An experimental embedded mixed methods study" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1568476.