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

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, Volume 20, Issue 2, p.267-277 (2012)


2012, Center-Authored Paper, Public Health Sciences Division


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/m(2)) 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.