Yoga and meditation for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors-A randomized controlled trial.Cancer 2015; 121(13):2175-84C
Breast cancer survivors have only very limited treatment options for menopausal symptoms. The objective of this trial was to evaluate the effects of a 12-week traditional Hatha yoga and meditation intervention on menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors.
Patients were randomly assigned either to a 12-week yoga and meditation intervention or to usual care. The primary outcome measure was total menopausal symptoms (Menopause Rating Scale [MRS] total score). Secondary outcome measures included MRS subscales, quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast), fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue), depression, and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Outcomes were assessed at week 12 and week 24 after randomization.
In total, 40 women (mean age ± standard deviation, 49.2 ± 5.9 years) were randomized to yoga (n = 19) or to usual care (n = 21). Women in the yoga group reported significantly lower total menopausal symptoms compared with the usual care group at week 12 (mean difference, -5.6; 95% confidence interval, -9.2 to -1.9; P = .004) and at week 24 (mean difference, -4.5; 95% confidence interval, -8.3 to -0.7; P = .023). At week 12, the yoga group reported less somatovegetative, psychological, and urogenital menopausal symptoms; less fatigue; and improved quality of life (all P < .05). At week 24, all effects persisted except for psychological menopausal symptoms. Short-term effects on menopausal symptoms remained significant when only women who were receiving antiestrogen medication (n = 36) were analyzed. Six minor adverse events occurred in each group.
Yoga combined with meditation can be considered a safe and effective complementary intervention for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors. The effects seem to persist for at least 3 months.