Online Program

Yoga as an alternative and complementary treatment for cancer

Monday, November 4, 2013

Manoj Sharma, PhD, Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Taj Haider, MPH, Grants Department, African Medical & Research Foundation USA, New York, NY 10036, NY
Adam Knowlden, CHES, MBA, MS, Ph.D., Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Cancer is a major public health concern with millions being affected all over the world. Modern medicine is often not sufficient in dealing with all aspects of cancer. In such a case interest has been generated in alternative and complementary systems of medicine. One such approach is the mind-body technique of yoga. The purpose of this article was to ascertain the efficacy of yoga as an alternative and complementary treatment option for cancer. The method used in this study was a systematic qualitative review of interventions obtained from MEDLINE, CINAHL, & Alt Health Watch databases. Studies included in this review were (1) published in the English language (2) published between the years 2010 and 2012 (3) that included any form of yoga as a part of an intervention (4) that used any quantitative study design, and (5) that measured any psychological (sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety etc.) or physical factor (pain, functional ability etc.) associated with cancer as an outcome. A total of 13 studies met these criteria. Eight of these studies had been done in United States while one each was from Slovenia, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey. Six studies used randomized controlled design; one study used quasi experimental design; while six studies used pretest posttest design. The evidence for efficacy of yoga as an alternative and complementary treatment for cancer was found to be mixed though generally positive. Limitations of the studies included a mixed usage of instruments, low sample sizes, and a lack of theory-based approach.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the potential for replication of yoga-based interventions for disease prevention, risk reduction, and health promotion in public health settings. Assess the role of yoga as an alternative or complimentary therapy in cancer. Identify key components of effective yoga interventions for use in addressing cancer.

Keyword(s): Cancer, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: With my co-authors I have conceptualized and done the research for this paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.