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OBJECTIVE: To describe the personal, professional, practice, service and consumer characteristics of the North American yoga therapy workforce. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive survey developed and informed by the contemporary workforce literature. A link to the e-survey was distributed to members of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. RESULTS: 367 members responded ( approximately 20% of eligible participants). Most were aged 40-69 years (88%) and female (91%). Almost half (42%) identified as a "seasoned yoga therapist" and few (9%) graduated from an accredited 800-h yoga therapy program. An average of 8h/week was spent in clinical practice with many (41%) earning an annual income of <US$10,000 from yoga therapy. Practice was informed by twenty different styles of yoga. Urban (39%) and suburban (38.1%) regions were the most common locations of practice. Most therapists conducted therapeutic yoga classes (91%) and 1:1 sessions (94%), with more than half delivering 1-10 therapeutic classes/month (53%) and 1-10 1:1 sessions/month (52%). Conditions seen most frequently were anxiety (77%), back/neck pain (77%) and joint pain/stiffness (67%). CONCLUSION: While yoga therapists shared demographic characteristics with other complementary and integrative health (CIH) providers, they tended to work less and earn less than their CIH counterparts. Yoga therapists were less likely to work in rural settings, possibly contributing to the underutilization of yoga in underserved populations. Improving access to yoga therapy services, identifying common core components across the various styles of yoga, and building a stronger evidence-base for key health indications may increase acceptance of, and demand for, yoga therapy.
INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) by yoga therapists (YTs). OBJECTIVE: To determine the attitudes, skills, training, use, barriers and facilitators to the use of EBP amongst North American YTs DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive survey METHODS: Self-identified YTs practicing in North America were invited to participate in an online survey. YT attitudes, skills, training, utilisation, barriers to use, and facilitators of EBP use were measured using the 84-item Evidence-Based practice Attitude and utilization SurvEy (EBASE). RESULTS: 367 members responded ( approximately 20% of eligible participants). Attitudes towards EBP were generally positive with 88% agreeing that professional literature and research findings were useful for the practice of yoga therapy. Most (80%) were interested in improving their skills and the majority agreed that EBP improves the quality of care (68%), assists in making decisions (74%) and takes into account the YTs clinical experience when making clinical decisions (59%). Moderate to moderately-high levels of perceived skill in EBP were reported mostly utilizing online search engines (51%). Lack of clinical evidence was the only notable barrier to uptake reported by YTs (48%). Facilitators to EBP included access to online EBP education materials (70.6%), ability to download full-text journal articles and access to free online databases in the workplace (67.3%). CONCLUSION: North American YTs report positive attitudes, moderate to moderately-high levels of perceived skill and moderate uptake of EBP. This aligns them with other complementary and integrative health practitioners. Initiatives to support the adoption of EBP are proposed as a means of improving best practice in yoga therapy.