Purpose: 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. Patients and Methods: 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. Results: 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). Conclusion: 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research