Investigating the Perceived Feasibility of Integrative Medicine in a Conventional Oncology Setting: Yoga Therapy as a Treatment for Breast Cancer Survivors
Integrative Cancer Therapies
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2013
Pages: 103 - 112
Source ID: shanti-sources-29866
Collection: Yoga-Based Medical Interventions
Abstract: Background. A majority of cancer survivors experience debilitating effect(s) related to their cancer diagnosis and treatments across physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains. Timely and innovative solutions are needed to address the adverse treatment-related effects and often disjointed services that breast cancer patients face. Recent studies suggest that the majority of breast cancer survivors are using complementary and alternative medicine at some point along their cancer trajectory. In recent years, scientists and clinicians have examined the effects of yoga therapy among cancer patients and survivors. The current study examined the perceived feasibility of implementing yoga therapy as a treatment service for breast cancer patients at a large urban cancer center in Canada. Methods. A mixed-methods approach that included focus groups and self-reported surveys with health care providers (HCPs) and breast cancer patients was used in this research. Results. Overall, results indicated that breast cancer patients and HCPs were supportive and eager for the implementation of a yoga therapy program. Six themes emerged from the analysis of the focus group and the survey data: (1) the availability of resources and accessibility of yoga therapy, (2) the credibility and transparency of yoga therapy, (3) the understanding of yoga therapy, (4) an educational component, (5) the therapeutic context, and (6) the integration of yoga therapy. Specific facilitators and barriers became evident within these themes. Conclusions. Although enthusiasm for the implementation of an integrative yoga therapy program was apparent among both breast cancer survivors and HCPs, barriers were also identified. The findings of this study are currently being used to inform a large-scale program of research aimed at developing integrative treatment services for breast cancer patients, beginning with yoga therapy.