Impact of yoga on functional outcomes in breast cancer survivors with aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgias

  • Galantino M
  • Desai K
  • Greene L
 et al. 
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Arthralgia affects postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (BCSs) receiving aromatase inhibitors (AIs). This study aims to establish the feasibility of studying the impact of yoga on objective functional outcomes, pain, and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) for AI-associated arthralgia (AIAA). Postmenopausal women with stage I to III breast cancer who reported AIAA were enrolled in a single-arm pilot trial. A yoga program was provided twice a week for 8 weeks. The Functional Reach (FR) and Sit and Reach (SR) were evaluated as primary outcomes. Pain, as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), self-reported Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS), and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) were secondary outcomes. Paired tests were used for analysis, and 90% provided data for assessment at the end of the intervention. Participants experienced significant improvement in balance, as measured by FR, and flexibility, as measured by SR. The PSFS improved from 4.55 to 7.21 ,and HR-QOL measured by FACT-B also improved; both P < .05. The score for the Pain Severity subscale of the BPI reduced. No adverse events nor development or worsening of lymphedema was observed. In all, 80% of participants adhered to the home program. Preliminary data suggest that yoga may reduce pain and improve balance and flexibility in BCSs with AIAA. A randomized controlled trial is needed to establish the definitive efficacy of yoga for objective functional improvement in BCSs related to AIAA.

Author-supplied keywords

  • aromatase inhibitor
  • arthralgia
  • breast cancer
  • function
  • quality of life
  • yoga

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  • Mary Lou Galantino

  • Krupali Desai

  • Laurie Greene

  • Angela Demichele

  • Carrie Tompkins Stricker

  • Jun James Mao

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