The effects of yoga on the quality of life and depression in elderly breast cancer patients

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 Feb;21(1):7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.01.002. Epub 2015 Jan 29.


Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of yoga on the quality of life in patients with cancer.

Design: Twenty patients (10 were in yoga program, 10 were in exercise group) between 65 and 70 years of age under going treatment for cancer were included in the study. Physical characteristics of the patients were recorded and general physiotherapy assessments performed. Eight sessions of a classical yoga program including warming and breathing exercises, asanas, relaxation in supine position, and meditation and 8 sessions of classical exercise program were applied to participants.

Main outcome measures: Before and after yoga and exercise program, quality of life assessments for the patients were conducted using the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Patients' depression levels were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory. Their level of pain, fatigue and sleep quality was evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS).

Results: It was found that all patients' quality of life scores after the yoga and exercise program were better than scores obtained before the yoga and exercise program (p < 0.05). When the post treatment data of the groups were compared in terms of NHP and subcategories, ER, SI, S, PA and the total scores of NHP were found significantly different in favor of Group I (p < 0.05). However EL and P scores of the NHP were not different between the groups (p > 0.05). When the groups were compared in terms of depression, pain, fatigue, and sleep quality, statistically significant differences were found in all parameters between pre and post treatment values for both groups (p < 0.05). When the post-treatment values of the groups were compared, fatigue and sleep quality were found statistically different between the groups in favor of Group I (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: It can be concluded that yoga is valuable in helping to diminish depression, pain, fatigue and helps cancer patients to perform daily and routine activities, and increases the quality of life in elderly patients with breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Elderly; Quality of life; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Yoga*