Abstract Title:

Yoga for depression and anxiety symptoms in people with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Abstract Source:

Psychooncology. 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3. PMID: 33763925

Abstract Author(s):

Maria Gonzalez, Michaela C Pascoe, Guoyan Yang, Michael de Manincor, Suzanne Grant, Judith Lacey, Joseph Firth, Jerome Sarris

Article Affiliation:

Maria Gonzalez


OBJECTIVE: Cancer and its treatment can lead to a variety of physical and emotional concerns impacting on those affected, including subclinical or clinical depression and anxiety, which in turn have a significant impact on wellbeing, quality of life and survival. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of yoga-based interventions on self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms in people with cancer in randomized controlled trials.

METHOD: Six databases were searched to identify relevant studies. Systematic review procedures were followed including a quality assessment. Meta-analysis of suitable studies was conducted.

RESULTS: 26 studies from our search criteria were eligible for inclusion for depressive and 16 for anxiety symptoms. Meta-analyses revealed evidence for significant medium effects of yoga on depression symptoms (N = 1,486, g = -0.419, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.558 to -0.281, p < 0.001) and anxiety (N = 977, g = -0.347, 95% CI = -0.473 to -0.221, p < 0.001) compared to controls. Subgroup analyses for depressive symptoms revealed significant effects for all analyses performed (type of cancer, type of control, treatment status, duration of intervention or frequency of yoga sessions), with effect sizes being comparable between subgroups. Similarfindings were found for anxiety symptoms except for treatment status, where the only significant effect was found when yoga was delivered during active treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: This review provides evidence that in people with cancer, yoga-based interventions are associated with amelioration of depression and anxiety symptoms and therefore a promising therapeutic modality for their management. However, the potential for risk of bias together with control group design challenges means the results should be interpreted with caution.

Study Type : Meta Analysis, Review

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