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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Oct 1;25(28):4387-95. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Randomized controlled trial of yoga among a multiethnic sample of breast cancer patients: effects on quality of life.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.



This study examines the impact of yoga, including physical poses, breathing, and meditation exercises, on quality of life (QOL), fatigue, distressed mood, and spiritual well-being among a multiethnic sample of breast cancer patients.


One hundred twenty-eight patients (42% African American, 31% Hispanic) recruited from an urban cancer center were randomly assigned (2:1 ratio) to a 12-week yoga intervention (n = 84) or a 12-week waitlist control group (n = 44). Changes in QOL (eg, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy) from before random assignment (T1) to the 3-month follow-up (T3) were examined; predictors of adherence were also assessed. Nearly half of all patients were receiving medical treatment.


Regression analyses indicated that the control group had a greater decrease in social well-being compared with the intervention group after controlling for baseline social well-being and covariates (P < .0001). Secondary analyses of 71 patients not receiving chemotherapy during the intervention period indicated favorable outcomes for the intervention group compared with the control group in overall QOL (P < .008), emotional well-being (P < .015), social well-being (P < .004), spiritual well-being (P < .009), and distressed mood (P < .031). Sixty-nine percent of intervention participants attended classes (mean number of classes attended by active class participants = 7.00 +/- 3.80), with lower adherence associated with increased fatigue (P < .001), radiotherapy (P < .0001), younger age (P < .008), and no antiestrogen therapy (P < .02).


Despite limited adherence, this intent-to-treat analysis suggests that yoga is associated with beneficial effects on social functioning among a medically diverse sample of breast cancer survivors. Among patients not receiving chemotherapy, yoga appears to enhance emotional well-being and mood and may serve to buffer deterioration in both overall and specific domains of QOL.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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