, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 267-277
Date: 05 Jan 2011

Randomized controlled pilot trial of yoga in overweight and obese breast cancer survivors: effects on quality of life and anthropometric measures

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Abstract

Purpose

To obtain estimates of time to recruit the study sample, retention, facility-based class attendance and home practice for a study of yoga in breast cancer survivors, and its efficacy on fatigue, quality of life (QOL), and weight change.

Methods

Sixty-three post-treatment stages 0–III borderline overweight and obese (body mass index ≥24 kg/m2) breast cancer survivors were randomly assigned to a 6-month, facility- and home-based viniyoga intervention (n = 32) or a waitlist control group (n = 31). The yoga goal was five practices per week. Primary outcome measures were changes in QOL, fatigue, and weight from baseline to 6 months. Secondary outcomes included changes in waist and hip circumference.

Results

It took 12 months to complete recruitment. Participants attended a mean of 19.6 classes and practiced at home a mean of 55.8 times during the 6-month period. At follow-up, 90% of participants completed questionnaires and 87% completed anthropometric measurements. QOL and fatigue improved to a greater extent among women in the yoga group relative to women in the control group, although no differences were statistically significant. Waist circumference decreased 3.1 cm (95% CI, −5.7 and −0.4) more among women in the yoga compared with the control group, with no difference in weight change.

Conclusions

This study provides important information regarding recruitment, retention, and practice levels achieved during a 6-month, intensive yoga intervention in overweight and obese breast cancer survivors. Yoga may help decrease waist circumference and improve quality of life; future studies are needed to confirm these results.

This study was presented in part at the TREC-FHCRC-NCI Conference on Energy Balance, Cancer Prognosis, and Survivorship in Seattle, WA in October 2009.
The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (identifier: NCT00476203).