Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors
A randomized controlled trial
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society
Volume 118, Issue 15, pages 3766–3775, 1 August 2012
How to Cite
Bower, J. E., Garet, D., Sternlieb, B., Ganz, P. A., Irwin, M. R., Olmstead, R. and Greendale, G. (2012), Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Cancer, 118: 3766–3775. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26702
- Issue published online: 20 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 14 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Received: 9 SEP 2011
- breast cancer;
- randomized controlled trial;
Cancer-related fatigue afflicts up to 33% of breast cancer survivors, yet there are no empirically validated treatments for this symptom.
The authors conducted a 2-group randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and efficacy of an Iyengar yoga intervention for breast cancer survivors with persistent post-treatment fatigue. Participants were breast cancer survivors who had completed cancer treatments (other than endocrine therapy) at least 6 months before enrollment, reported significant cancer-related fatigue, and had no other medical conditions that would account for fatigue symptoms or interfere with yoga practice. Block randomization was used to assign participants to a 12-week, Iyengar-based yoga intervention or to 12 weeks of health education (control). The primary outcome was change in fatigue measured at baseline, immediately post-treatment, and 3 months after treatment completion. Additional outcomes included changes in vigor, depressive symptoms, sleep, perceived stress, and physical performance. Intent-to-treat analyses were conducted with all randomized participants using linear mixed models.
Thirty-one women were randomly assigned to yoga (n = 16) or health education (n = 15). Fatigue severity declined significantly from baseline to post-treatment and over a 3-month follow-up in the yoga group relative to controls (P = .032). In addition, the yoga group had significant increases in vigor relative to controls (P = .011). Both groups had positive changes in depressive symptoms and perceived stress (P < .05). No significant changes in sleep or physical performance were observed.
A targeted yoga intervention led to significant improvements in fatigue and vigor among breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue symptoms. Cancer 2012. © 2011 American Cancer Society.