Published: 2017-12-23

Effectiveness of yoga on anxiety, depression and stress level of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

Kamli Prakash, Sunil Saini


Background: Breast cancer has ranked number one cancer among Indian females. Women undergoing chemotherapy experience many side effects including alteration in their body image. The present study assessed effectiveness of yoga on anxiety, depression and stress level of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods: Quantitative Research approach and Randomized Clinical Controlled Trial with Time series design was adopted in the present study. The consecutive sampling technique was done to recruit 100 breast cancer patients fulfilling the eligibility criteria. Recruited patients were randomized to control (N=52) and experiment (N=48) groups by concealed randomization. Written informed consent was taken from each participant. Baseline data was collected during cycle one by using Anxiety depression and stress scale. The patients in the experimental group were taught Diaphragmatic breathing, systematic relaxation and alternate nostril breathing and Joints and Gland neck and shoulder exercises, and were instructed to practice them twice daily at home. They were supervised in practicing these when they received second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth cycles of chemotherapy. Participants in control group received routine care. Data was again collected after 21 days during second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth cycles of chemotherapy.

Results: Analysis revealed that at the baseline breast cancer patients in control and experimental group were homogenous in terms of their Sociodemographic and anxiety depression and stress scores. After the yoga intervention the experimental group showed statistically significant difference in anxiety scores from control group during second, third and sixth cycles (p 0.01, p 0.02, p 0.02), in depression score during the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth cycles (p 0.02, p 0.02, p 0.02, p 0.001, p 0.000), and in stress scores during third cycle (p 0.01) of chemotherapy.

Conclusions: On the basis of findings of the study it was concluded that yoga was effective in reducing the anxiety, depression and stress of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Therefore, it is recommended as complementary therapy for patients receiving treatment for cancer.



Breast cancer, Chemotherapy, Stress level, Yoga

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