Research: CARSON and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 178

Abstract

CARSON and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Anesthesiology and Peri-operative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97239, USA. carsonja@ohsu.edu conducted a preliminary, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a yoga intervention on menopausal symptoms in a sample of survivors of early-stage breast cancer (stages IA-IIB).

Background

Breast cancer survivors have limited options for the treatment of hot flashes and related symptoms. Further, therapies widely used to prevent recurrence in survivors, such as tamoxifen, tend to induce or exacerbate menopausal symptoms. The aim of this preliminary, randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the effects of a yoga intervention on menopausal symptoms in a sample of survivors of early-stage breast cancer (stages IA-IIB).

Methodology

Thirty-seven disease-free women experiencing hot flashes were randomized to the 8-week Yoga of Awareness program (gentle yoga poses, meditation, and breathing exercises) or to wait-list control. The primary outcome was daily reports of hot flashes collected at baseline, posttreatment, and 3 months after treatment via an interactive telephone system. Data were analyzed by intention to treat.

Results

At posttreatment, women who received the yoga program showed significantly greater improvements relative to the control condition in hot-flash frequency, severity, and total scores and in levels of joint pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, symptom-related bother, and vigour. At 3 months follow-up, patients maintained their treatment gains in hot flashes, joint pain, fatigue, symptom-related bother, and vigour and showed additional significant gains in negative mood, relaxation, and acceptance.

Conclusion

This pilot study provides promising support for the beneficial effects of a comprehensive yoga program for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in early-stage breast cancer survivors.

References

Carson JW, Carson KM, Porter LS, Keefe FJ and Seewaldt VL. Yoga of Awareness program for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors: results from a randomized trial. Supportive Care in Cancer. 17(10):1301-9. Oct 2009.

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