|The proposed study will assess the physical and psychological benefits of a Tibetan yoga (TY) program for women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy or after treatment has ended. Patients with breast cancer who are scheduled to undergo neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy or are within 24 months of having completed treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy) will be randomly assigned to a TY group, stretching group (SG) or a usual care (UC) group. The SG group will control for some of the indirect benefits of TY (e.g., attention and social support). Participants in the TY and SG groups will each participate in four weekly group sessions or 4 sessions every 3 weeks. Measures will be obtained prior to randomization and 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months after the last intervention session. |
Specific objectives of the proposed research are:
1. Evaluate the TY program in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy or after treatment has ended. Our primary aim will be to determine the extent to which the TY program decreases fatigue and sleep disturbances during and after treatment.
2. Determine the effects of the TY program on other aspects of adjustment. This will consist of examining indices of QOL, mental health, physical health, work and/or home productivity, and distress.
3. Identify some of the processes underlying the efficacy of the intervention. A cognitive-social model drawn from existing research on trauma and the management of life-threatening illnesses will be evaluated to identify factors that mediate and/or moderate the effects of the intervention and predict adjustment. We will evaluate cognitive/emotional processing, social network/interactions, coping, ability to find meaning in the illness experience, spirituality, and optimism.
4. Collect blood samples, as an optional procedure, to cryopreserve plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells for examination of immune function.