The feasibility and benefits of a 12-week yoga intervention for pediatric cancer out-patients
- The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Increasing rates of survival present a new set of psychosocial and physical challenges for children undergoing treatment for cancer. Physical activity (PA) has been shown to be a safe and effective strategy to mitigate the significant burden of cancer and its treatments, with yoga increasingly gaining recognition as a gentle alternative. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and benefits of a 12-week community-based yoga intervention on health-related quality of life (HRQL), select physical fitness outcomes and PA levels (PAL).
Eight pediatric cancer out-patients (4 male; 4 female; Mage = 11.88, SD = 4.26) participated in the 12-week intervention consisting of supervised yoga sessions 2 times/week. Participants (patients and parent proxies) completed measures assessing HRQL, physical fitness and PAL at baseline and post-intervention.
Rates of recruitment, retention, attendance and adverse events indicated the program was feasible. Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests indicated significant improvements for patient (P = 0.02) and parent reported HRQL (P = 0.03), functional mobility (P = 0.01), hamstring flexibility (left, P = 0.01 and right P = 0.02), and total PAL (P = 0.02) pre to post intervention.
This 12-week community-based yoga intervention was feasible and provides preliminary evidence for the benefits of yoga on HRQL, physical fitness and PAL in pediatric cancer out-patients. In a population where sedentary behavior and the associated co-morbidities are a growing concern, these results promote the continued exploration of yoga programming. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014; 61:1828–1834. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.