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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- Littman, A.J., Bertram, L.C., Ceballos, R. et al. Support Care Cancer (2012) 20: 267. doi:10.1007/s00520-010-1066-8
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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.
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.
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.
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.