Research: DERRY and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 251

Abstract

DERRY and COLLEAGUES, 1. Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 2. Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 3. Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA; 4. College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 5. Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 6. Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 7. Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 8. Department of Psychiatry, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA conducted a randomized controlled trial to study whether stage 0-IIIA breast cancer survivors who received a yoga intervention had lower fatigue and inflammation following the trial compared with a wait list control group.

Background

Cancer survivors often report cognitive problems. Furthermore, decreases in physical activity typically occur over the course of cancer treatment. Although physical activity benefits cognitive function in noncancer populations, evidence linking physical activity to cognitive function in cancer survivors is limited. In our recent randomized controlled trial, breast cancer survivors who received a yoga intervention had lower fatigue and inflammation following the trial compared with a wait list control group. This secondary analysis of the parent trial addressed yoga's impact on cognitive complaints.

Methodology

Posttreatment stage 0-IIIA breast cancer survivors (n = 200) were randomized to a 12-week, twice-weekly Hatha yoga intervention or a wait list control group. Participants reported cognitive complaints using the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial Cognitive Problems Scale at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 3-month follow-up.

Results

Cognitive complaints did not differ significantly between groups immediately postintervention (p = 0.250). However, at 3-month follow-up, yoga participants' Breast Cancer Prevention Trial Cognitive Problems Scale scores were an average of 23% lower than wait list participants' scores (p = 0.003). These group differences in cognitive complaints remained after controlling for psychological distress, fatigue, and sleep quality. Consistent with the primary results, those who practiced yoga more frequently reported significantly fewer cognitive problems at 3-month follow-up than those who practiced less frequently (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

These findings suggest that yoga can effectively reduce breast cancer survivors' cognitive complaints and prompt further research on mind-body and physical activity interventions for improving cancer-related cognitive problems.

References

Derry HM1,2, Jaremka LM1, Bennett JM3, Peng J4, Andridge R4, Shapiro C5,6, Malarkey WB1,5,6, Emery CF1,2, Layman R5,6, Mrozek E5,6, Glaser R1,6,7, Kiecolt-Glaser JK1,6,8. Yoga and self-reported cognitive problems in breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Psychooncology; 24(8):958-66. Aug 2015. doi: 10.1002/pon.3707. Epub Oct 21 2014.

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