Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial.

TitleYoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBower JE, Garet D, Sternlieb B, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Greendale G
Date Published2012 Aug 1
KeywordsAttitude, Breast Neoplasms, Fatigue, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Survivors, Treatment Outcome, Yoga

BACKGROUND: Cancer-related fatigue afflicts up to 33% of breast cancer survivors, yet there are no empirically validated treatments for this symptom.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: A targeted yoga intervention led to significant improvements in fatigue and vigor among breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue symptoms.

Alternate JournalCancer
PubMed ID22180393
PubMed Central IDPMC3601551
Grant ListU01 AT003682 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
U01 AT003682-01 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
U01-AT003682 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR000124 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States