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BackgroundThe concept of `mindfulness´ was operationalized primarily for patients with chronic stressors, while it is rarely used in reference to soldiers. We intended to validate a modified instrument on the basis of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) to measure soldiers’ situational awareness (“mindfulness”) in stressful situations/missions. The instrument we will explore in this paper is termed the Conscious Presence and Self Control (CPSC) scale. Methods The CPSC and further instruments, i.e., Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), stressful military experiences (PCL-M), life satisfaction (BMLSS), Positive Life Construction (ePLC), and self-perceived health affections (VAS), were administered to 281 German soldiers. The soldiers were mainly exposed to explosive ordnance, military police, medical service, and patients with posttraumatic stress disorders. Results The 10-item CPSC scale exhibited a one-factorial structure and showed a good internal consistence (Cronbach´s alpha = .86); there were neither ceiling nor bottom effects. The CPSC scores correlated moderately with Positive Life Construction and life satisfaction, and negatively with perceived stress and health affections. Regression analyses indicated that posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (negative), and the development of effective strategies to deal with disturbing pictures and experiences (positive) were the best predictor of soldiers´ CPSC scores. Soldiers with health affections exhibiting impact upon their daily life had significantly lower CPSC scores than those without impairment (F=8.1; p < .0001). Conclusions As core conceptualizations of `mindfulness´ are not necessarily discussed in a military context, the FMI was adopted for military personnel populations, while its two factorial structure with the sub-constructs `acceptance´ and `presence´ was retained. The resulting 10-item CPSC scale had good internal consistence, sound associations with measures of health affections and life satisfaction, and thus can be used as a short and rapid measure in pre-post mission and interventional studies.

Background. Researchers aimed at systematically reviewing and meta-analyzing the effectiveness of yoga interventions for fatigue. Methods. PubMed/Medline was searched until January 2012 for controlled clinical studies. Two reviewers independently extracted the data. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed. A meta-analysis was performed. Results. Nineteen clinical studies (total n = 948) were included in this review. Investigated yoga styles included Hatha, Iyengar, Asanas, Patanjali, Sahaja, and Tibetan yoga. Participants were suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, dialysis, chronic pancreatitis, fibromyalgia, asthma, or were healthy. Yoga had a small positive effect on fatigue (SMD = 0.27, 59% CI = 0.23-0.31). Seven studies received 4 points on the Jadad score. There were baseline differences in at least 5 studies. Conclusion. Overall, the effects of yoga interventions on fatigue were only small, particularly in cancer patients. Although yoga is generally a safe therapeutic intervention and effective to attenuate other health-related symptoms, this meta-analysis was not able to define the powerful effect of yoga on patients suffering from fatigue. Treatment effects of yoga could be improved in well-designed future studies. According to the GRADE recommendations assessing the overall quality of evidence, there is a moderate effect of the confidence placed in the estimates of the effects discussed here.

This study aims to test the effects of yoga on health-related quality of life, life satisfaction, cancer-related fatigue, mindfulness, and spirituality compared to conventional therapeutic exercises during (neo)adjuvant cytotoxic and endocrine therapy in women with breast cancer. In a randomized controlled trial 92 women with breast cancer undergoing oncological treatment were randomly enrolled for a yoga intervention (YI) (n = 45) or for a physical exercise intervention (PEI) (n = 47). Measurements were obtained before (t 0) and after the intervention (t 1) as well as 3 months after finishing intervention (t 2) using standardized questionnaires. Life satisfaction and fatigue improved under PEI (p < 0.05) but not under YI (t 0 to t 2). Regarding quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30) a direct effect (t 0 to t 1; p < 0.001) of YI was found on role and emotional functioning, while under PEI only emotional functioning improved. Significant improvements (p < 0.001) were observed at both t 1 and t 2 also for symptom scales in both groups: dyspnea, appetite loss, constipation, and diarrhea. There was no significant difference between therapies for none of the analyzed variables neither for t 1 nor for t 2. During chemotherapy, yoga was not seen as more helpful than conventional therapeutic exercises. This does not argue against its use in the recovery phase.