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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-20
Influence of yoga on mood states, distress, quality of life and immune outcomes in early stage breast cancer patients undergoing surgery


1 Department of Yoga Research, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Clinical Immunology, M.S Ramiah Medical Teaching Hospital, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Surgical Oncology, Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Nagarathna Raghuram
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.36789

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Context : Breast cancer patients awaiting surgery experience heightened distress that could affect postoperative outcomes. Aims : The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of yoga intervention on mood states, treatment-related symptoms, quality of life and immune outcomes in breast cancer patients undergoing surgery. Settings and Design : Ninety-eight recently diagnosed stage II and III breast cancer patients were recruited for a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of a yoga program with supportive therapy plus exercise rehabilitation on postoperative outcomes following surgery. Materials and Methods : Subjects were assessed prior to surgery and four weeks thereafter. Psychometric instruments were used to assess self-reported anxiety, depression, treatment-related distress and quality of life. Blood samples were collected for enumeration of T lymphocyte subsets (CD4 %, CD8 % and natural killer (NK) cell % counts) and serum immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA and IgM). Statistical Analysis Used : We used analysis of covariance to compare interventions postoperatively. Results : Sixty-nine patients contributed data to the current analysis (yoga n = 33, control n = 36). The results suggest a significant decrease in the state ( P = 0.04) and trait ( P = 0.004) of anxiety, depression ( P = 0.01), symptom severity ( P = 0.01), distress ( P < 0.01) and improvement in quality of life ( P = 0.01) in the yoga group as compared to the controls. There was also a significantly lesser decrease in CD 56% ( P = 0.02) and lower levels of serum IgA ( P = 0.001) in the yoga group as compared to controls following surgery. Conclusions : The results suggest possible benefits for yoga in reducing postoperative distress and preventing immune suppression following surgery.


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