Help determine the effects of Yoga on non-curative cancer

Hillary Woodside is looking for your help with her study, “The Impact of Yoga on Quality of Life for Adolescent and Young Adult Non-Curative Cancer Patients.”

“The primary purpose of the proposed study is to examine the feasibility (e.g., recruitment, retention, adherence) and safety of a seven-week home/hospice-based instructive Hatha yoga intervention (available on DVD) in AYA non-curative cancer patients,” she said. “Due to the limited literature on this topic, feasibility and safety must first be examined. Secondary objectives will examine the efficacy of yoga in mitigating cancer and treatment related side-effects through ratings of self-reported quality of life. Although methods to prolong life have been established, they are not tending to the holistic needs of the AYA non-curative cancer patient.”

Eligible participants will be asked to complete one 75-minute yoga session per week for seven weeks. All consenting participants will be given a yoga DVD, mat, block and strap to keep.

Participants must:

  1. Speak English (questionnaires and DVD are in English);
  2. Have been diagnosed with a non-curative cancer and assigned to non-curative or palliative care between 15-39 years of age; and
  3. Have their oncologist/primary physician’s consent to participate.

“Extrapolating from the current literature on yoga and non-curative cancer, it would seem plausible to assume that a light yoga program would be a beneficial intervention for the AYA non-curative cancer patient. Yoga may be the perfect distraction for the AYA non-curative cancer patient because they can participate in something where they can set goals and experience a sense of normalcy during a very challenging time (Gulde et al., 2011; Wein et al., 2011; Weiner et al., 2012).

“Yoga provides a sense of control to the non-curative cancer patient, allowing them to feel as though they are participating in their treatment (Cope, 2002). Regaining a sense of control can assist the AYA non-curative cancer patient in achieving their age-appropriate developmental tasks. In addition, having the AYA non-curative cancer patient participate in a home/hospice-based yoga intervention may also slow their increasing functional impairments (Carson et al., 2007; Hede, 2011; Kumar & Balkrishna, 2009). This could potentially provide the AYA non-curative cancer patient with a sense of increased energy and mental clarity, allowing them to engage in more meaningful endeavors towards the end of their life.”

Please contact Hillary at (902) 494-2579 or hillarywoodside@dal.ca if you are interested in participating, or if you would like more information.

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