Investigators from San Diego State University (SDSU) & University of California, San Diego (UCSD), conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of randomized, controlled yoga interventions on self-reported fatigue in cancer patients and survivors. The online electronic databases, PubMed and PsycINFO, were used to search for peer-reviewed research articles reporting on randomized, controlled studies.
The main outcome of interest was change in fatigue from pre- to post-intervention. Interventions of any length were included in the analysis. Risk of bias using the format of the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was also examined across studies.
Ten articles met the inclusion criteria and involved a total of 583 participants who were predominantly female, breast cancer survivors.
Researchers from the Department of Health and Social Sciences, Dalarna University in Falun, Sweden studied affective reactions (shifts in mood, emotional state) to Qigong. In the past, single sessions have been associated with increased positive affect/emotional benefits.
The study used a new, modified version of the short Swedish Core Affect Scale, complemented by open-ended questions, with a group of 46 women who regularly practice Qigong, to assess changes before, during and after a Qigong session.
Affect was measured on a group and individual level.
Investigators from Tianjin Medical University’s School of Nursing in Tianjin, China, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of yoga on psychological health and quality of life (QoL) in women with breast cancer.
A systematic search was done using PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, and the Chinese Digital Journals Full-text Database. Analysts used randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effects of yoga as compared to a control group (treatment as usual or TAU), on psychological functioning and QoL in women with breast cancer.
Six studies involving 382 patients were included for review. The meta-analysis revealed that yoga improves quality of life for women with breast cancer, yielding a statistically significant effect (p=0.03, standard mean difference = 0.27, 95% confidence interval [0.02, 0.52]).
Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi assessed the efficacy of a brief yoga-based intervention on lowering stress and reducing inflammation in patients with chronic inflammatory disease in a preliminary study with a pre-post design.
Subjects were patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and others who suffered from being overweight or obese.
The program consisted of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), stress management, group discussions, lectures, and individualized coaching.
Outcomes were changes from day 0 to day 10 in plasma cortisol and
β-endorphin to measure reductions in stress: and interleukin [IL]-6 and
tumor necrosis factor [TNF] - to measure reductions in inflammation.
Researchers from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC, conducted a randomized controlled pilot comparing the viability of two mind-body workplace stress reduction programs - one therapeutic yoga-based and the other mindfulness-based - in order to set the stage for larger cost-effectiveness trials. Additionally, 2 delivery venues of the mindfulness-based program were evaluated (online vs. in-person).
Group differences were examined over time on perceived stress and secondary measures to clarify which variables to include in future studies: sleep quality, mood, pain levels, work productivity, mindfulness, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate variability.
Researchers from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation (SVYASA) in Bangalore, India evaluated changes in pain, anxiety, depression and spinal mobility for chronic low back pain patients on short-term, residential Yoga and physical exercise programs, including comprehensive yoga lifestyle modifications.
This seven-day, randomized, controlled, single-blind study, in a residential Holistic Health Centre in Bangalore, India, assigned 80 patients (37 female, 43 male) with chronic low back pain to yoga and physical exercise groups.
The Yoga program consisted of specific asanas (body postures) and pranayamas (breath exercises) for back pain, meditation, yogic counseling, and lectures on yoga philosophy. The control group program included physical therapy exercises for back pain and matching counseling and education sessions.
Faculty from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom conducted a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment option for any type of pain.
Seven databases were searched from their inception to February 2011. Randomized clinical trials were considered if they investigated yoga in patients with any type of pain and if they assessed pain as a primary outcome measure.
Ten randomized clinical trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteriam with methodological quality ranging between 1 and 4 on the Jadad scale. Nine RCTs suggested that yoga leads to a significantly greater reduction in pain over various control interventions, such as standard care, self care, therapeutic exercises, relaxing yoga, touch and manipulation, or no intervention. One RCT failed to provide between-group differences in pain scores.
Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted a systematic review and critical appraisal of the effect of yoga on stress management in healthy adults.
A systematic literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and clinical controlled trials (CCTs) that assessed the effects of yoga on stress management in healthy adults. Selected studies were classified according to the types of intervention, duration, outcome measures, and results. They were also qualitatively assessed based on Public Health Research, Education and Development standards.
Researchers from the Department of Psychobiology at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil looked at the efficacy of Siddha Samadhi Yoga, a program of meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises). Twenty-two volunteers with anxiety complaints (Median age = 42.8 yr., Standard deviation = 10.3) were assigned to two groups: 14 attended the yoga group, and 8 attended a waiting-list or control group.
Subjects were evaluated before the intervention and 1 month after it on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, Tension Feelings Self-evaluation Scales, and the Well-being Self-evaluation Scales.