Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Patricia A. Kinser

Second Advisor

Dr. Robin Everhart

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Schechter

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Theresa Swift-Scanlan

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Leroy Thacker


Introduction: A diagnosis of severe asthma greatly impacts the physical and psychological health of children. Often experiencing increased stress, decreased physical activity, and increased exacerbations, children with severe asthma frequently exhibit poor health outcomes. Mindful yoga is a complementary health approach that may improve the physical and psychological well-being of children with severe asthma. The aims of this research were to evaluate the tolerability, feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a mindful yoga intervention in children with severe asthma. A novel theoretical framework encompassing concepts from three vulnerability nursing theories guided the research.

Methods: A mixed methods pilot study with an embedded design was conducted with 15 children ages 7-11 with severe asthma from an urban pulmonary clinic. The children participated in a single 30 minute mindful yoga session. Vital signs and pulmonary function tests were collected before and after the session. The children and their caregiver also participated in semi-structured interviews after the session.

Results: Four children experienced an exercise-induced bronchoconstriction as evidenced by a > 10% drop in their FEV1. Only one of the four experienced accompanying asthma symptoms and none required pharmacologic treatment. There were no significant differences between lung function or vital signs before and after the mindful yoga session. The children reported feeling happier, calmer, and more relaxed after the mindful yoga session and the caregivers stated they would be willing to take their child to future yoga classes, more so if they were low cost or close to home.

Discussion: This study is the first to evaluate the use of mindful yoga in children with severe asthma. Despite design and sample limitations, the results highlight a need for additional longitudinal studies to further evaluate the tolerability and effects of mindful yoga in children with severe asthma.


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Available for download on Friday, April 11, 2025