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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.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a mindfulness-based day care clinic group program for cancer survivors on health-related quality of life and mental health; and to investigate which psychological variables are associated with changes in health variables. One hundred seventeen cancer survivors (91.0 % female; mean age 53.9 +/- 10.7 years; 65.0 % breast cancer; mean time since diagnosis 27.2 +/- 46.5 months) participated in an 11-week mindfulness-based day care clinic group program, 6 h per week. The intervention incorporated mindfulness-based meditation, yoga, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and lifestyle modification. Outcome measures including health-related quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), depression and anxiety (HADS); and psychological variables including life satisfaction (BMLSS), mindfulness (FMI), adaptive coping styles (AKU), spiritual/religious attitudes in dealing with illness (SpREUK), and interpretation of illness (IIQ) were assessed before, after, and 3 months after the intervention. Using mixed linear models, significant improvements in global health status, physical functioning, role functioning, emotional functioning, cognitive functioning, and social functioning were found. Cancer-related symptoms, including fatigue, pain, insomnia, constipation, anxiety, and depression, also improved significantly. Mindfulness, life satisfaction, health satisfaction, all coping styles, all spiritual/religious attitudes, and interpretation of illness as something of value increased; interpretation of illness as punishment decreased significantly (all p < 0.05). Improved outcomes were associated with increases in psychological variables, mainly life satisfaction, health satisfaction, and trust in medical help (R (2) = 7.3-43.6 %). Supportive mindfulness-based interventions can be considered as an effective means to improve cancer survivors' physical and mental health. Functional improvements are associated with improved satisfaction and coping styles.

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.