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OBJECTIVES: Fatigue and other treatment-related symptoms (e.g., sleep disturbance) are critical targets for improving quality of life in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Yoga may reduce the burden of such symptoms. This study investigated the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled study of a brief yoga intervention during chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.DESIGN: We randomized adults with colorectal cancer to a brief Yoga Skills Training (YST) or an attention control (AC; empathic attention and recorded education). SETTING: The interventions and assessments were implemented individually in the clinic while patients were in the chair receiving chemotherapy. INTERVENTIONS: Both interventions consisted of three sessions and recommended home practice. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was feasibility (accrual, retention, adherence, data collection). Self-reported outcomes (i.e., fatigue, sleep disturbance, quality of life) and inflammatory biomarkers were also described to inform future studies. RESULTS: Of 52 patients initially identified, 28 were approached, and 15 enrolled (age Mean = 57.5 years; 80% White; 60% Male). Reasons for declining participation were: not interested (n = 6), did not perceive a need (n = 2), and other (n = 5). Two participants were lost to follow-up in each group due to treatment changes. Thus, 75% of participants were retained in the YST and 71% in the AC arm. Participants retained in the study adhered to 97% of the in-person intervention sessions and completed all questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the feasibility of conducting a larger randomized controlled trial to assess YST among patients receiving chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. Data collected and challenges encountered will inform future research.
OBJECTIVE: Fatigue and other treatment-related symptoms are critical therapeutic targets for improving quality of life in patients with colorectal cancer during chemotherapy. Yoga is a promising intervention for improving these therapeutic targets and has been primarily investigated in the group-class format, which is less feasible for cancer patients with high symptom burden to attend. Thus, we developed a protocol for implementing yoga individually in the clinic among patients receiving chemotherapy.METHODS: We followed recommended domains for developing a yoga protocol to be used in an efficacy trial. These recommendations include consideration to the style, delivery, components of the intervention, dose, specific class sequences, facilitation of home practice, measurement of intervention fidelity, selection of instructors, and dealing with modifications. The intervention protocol was developed by an interdisciplinary team. PROTOCOL: Yoga Skills Training (YST) consists of four 30-minute in-person sessions and was implemented while in the chair during chemotherapy infusions for colorectal cancer with recommended daily home practice for eight weeks. Therapeutic goals of the YST are to reduce fatigue, circadian disruption, and psychological distress. Elements of the YST are awareness meditation, gentle seated movement, breathing practice, and relaxation meditation. Attention, comfort, and ease are also highlighted. CONCLUSION: This description of a protocol for integrating yoga with conventional cancer treatment will inform future study designs and clinical practice. The design of the YST is novel because it implements yoga-most commonly studied when taught to groups outside of the clinical setting- individually during clinical care.