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PURPOSE: Research in the area of cultural response pattern on questionnaires in the oncological setting and direct cross-cultural comparisons are lacking. This study examined response pattern in the reporting of depressive symptoms in Chinese and US women with breast cancer. We hypothesized that Chinese women are less likely to endorse positive affect items compared to their US counterparts. Additionally, we explored cultural differences in the association between positive affect and QOL. METHODS: Secondary analyses of baseline assessments of two mind-body intervention studies for women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy in the USA (N = 62) and China (N = 97) are presented. All participants completed measures of depressive symptoms (CES-D) and cancer-specific QOL (FACT-B). We examined cultural differences on positive and negative affect items on the CES-D. RESULTS: Controlling for demographic factors, ANCOVA revealed a significant cultural difference in positive (F = 7.99, p = 0.005) but not negative affect (p = 0.82) with Chinese women reporting lower positive affect compared to US women (Chinese = 6.97 vs. US = 8.31). There was also a significant cultural difference (F = 3.94, p = 0.03) in the association between positive affect and QOL so that lower positive affect was more strongly associated with worse emotional well-being in Chinese (beta = 0.57, p < 0.0001) than US women (beta = 0.35, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Chinese women reported lower positive affect compared to US women and lower levels of positive affect were more strongly associated with worse QOL. Special attention is needed when examining mental health in different cultures to ascertain effective delivery of clinical services to those in need.

OBJECTIVE: It has been speculated that cancer survivors in Asia may have lower quality of life (QOL) compared with their Western counterparts. However, no studies have made international comparisons in QOL using a comprehensive measure. This study aimed to compare Chinese breast cancer survivors' QOL with US counterparts and examine if demographic and medical factors were associated with QOL across groups. METHOD: The sample consisted of 159 breast cancer patients (97 Chinese and 62 American) who completed the Functional Assessment for Cancer Therapy Breast Cancer (FACT-B) scale before the start of radiotherapy in Shanghai, China and Houston, USA. RESULTS: Higher income was associated with higher QOL total scores in both Chinese and American cancer patients, but QOL was not significantly associated with other factors including age, education, disease stage, mastectomy, and chemotherapy. Consistent with hypotheses, compared to their US counterparts, Chinese breast cancer survivors reported lower QOL and all four subdimensions including functional well-being (FWB), physical well-being (PWB), emotional well-being (EWB), and social well-being (SWB); they also reported more breast cancer-specific concerns (BCS). Differences were also clinically significant for Functional Assessment for Cancer Therapy General (FACT-G) scale total scores and the FWB subscale. After controlling for demographic and medical covariates, these differences remained except for the SWB and BCS. Furthermore, Chinese breast cancer survivors receiving chemotherapy reported significantly lower FACT-G scores than those who did not, but this difference did not emerge among US breast cancer survivors. DISCUSSION: Chinese breast cancer survivors reported poorer QOL on multiple domains compared to US women. Findings indicate that better strategies are needed to help improve the QOL of Chinese breast cancer survivors, especially those who underwent chemotherapy.

AIM: To study the effect of short term Yoga-based lifestyle intervention in the management of diabetes and pre-diabetes, through a 'pilot' community-based study. METHODS: A total of 1292 subjects with diagnosed type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes were recruited from different States of India viz., Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Tamilnadu participated in the study. Yoga-based lifestyle intervention was introduced through 10-day non-residential camps. Baseline and post intervention assessments of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) were measured on the first day and tenth day respectively. Of 1292 subjects, 896 both pre- and post- FPG readings were available. Data analysis was done using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS), version 16. RESULTS: Mean baseline FPG level was 133.1 (+/-47.98) and the mean post intervention FPG reduced to 121.19 (+/-40.56). There was a statistically significant decrease in FPG, p value (<0.0001). CONCLUSION: The result suggests that a short-term Yoga-based lifestyle intervention effectively reduces FPG levels in type 2 diabetes patients and pre-diabetes.

Effects of an integrated yoga program in modulating perceived stress levels, anxiety, as well as depression levels and radiation-induced DNA damage were studied in 68 breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Two psychological questionnaires--Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)--and DNA damage assay were used in the study. There was a significant decrease in the HADS scores in the yoga intervention group, whereas the control group displayed an increase in these scores. Mean PSS was decreased in the yoga group, whereas the control group did not show any change pre- and postradiotherapy. Radiation-induced DNA damage was significantly elevated in both the yoga and control groups after radiotherapy, but the postradiotherapy DNA damage in the yoga group was slightly less when compared to the control group. An integrated approach of yoga intervention modulates the stress and DNA damage levels in breast cancer patients during radiotherapy.

Effects of an integrated yoga program in modulating perceived stress levels, anxiety, as well as depression levels and radiation-induced DNA damage were studied in 68 breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Two psychological questionnaires--Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)--and DNA damage assay were used in the study. There was a significant decrease in the HADS scores in the yoga intervention group, whereas the control group displayed an increase in these scores. Mean PSS was decreased in the yoga group, whereas the control group did not show any change pre- and postradiotherapy. Radiation-induced DNA damage was significantly elevated in both the yoga and control groups after radiotherapy, but the postradiotherapy DNA damage in the yoga group was slightly less when compared to the control group. An integrated approach of yoga intervention modulates the stress and DNA damage levels in breast cancer patients during radiotherapy.

Effects of an integrated yoga program in modulating perceived stress levels, anxiety, as well as depression levels and radiation-induced DNA damage were studied in 68 breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Two psychological questionnaires--Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)--and DNA damage assay were used in the study. There was a significant decrease in the HADS scores in the yoga intervention group, whereas the control group displayed an increase in these scores. Mean PSS was decreased in the yoga group, whereas the control group did not show any change pre- and postradiotherapy. Radiation-induced DNA damage was significantly elevated in both the yoga and control groups after radiotherapy, but the postradiotherapy DNA damage in the yoga group was slightly less when compared to the control group. An integrated approach of yoga intervention modulates the stress and DNA damage levels in breast cancer patients during radiotherapy.

BACKGROUND: Trataka, a type of yoga practice is considered to improve cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to test the effect of trataka on cognitive functions of the elderly. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Elderly subjects were recruited based on inclusion and exclusion criteria (n = 60) and randomly divided using randomized block design into two groups: Trataka and wait list control group. Trataka (a visual cleansing technique) was given for a period of 1 month (26 days). The subjects in both groups were assessed on day 1 (pre- and postintervention in trataka group and after quiet sitting in control group) and on day 30 on Digit Span Test, Six Letter Cancellation Test (SLCT), and Trail Making Test-B (TMT-B). RESULTS: Friedman's test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that at the 2(nd) follow-up there was significant improvement in digit span scores (z = -3.35, P < 0.01) in the trataka group. SLCT scores (t = 5.08, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = -4.26, P < 0.01) improved immediately after the practice of trataka (when baseline compared to first follow-up). At 1 month follow-up, trataka group showed significantly better performance in the SLCT test compared to baseline (t = -3.93, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = 7.09, P < 0.01). Repeated measure analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) results also reiterated that there was significant interaction effect at the end of 1 month of trataka intervention as compared to control group on TMT-B and SLCT scores. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study establish that Trataka can be used as a technique to enhance cognition in the elderly.

Hypothesis This study examines moderators and mediators of a yoga intervention targeting quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes in women with breast cancer receiving radiotherapy.Methods Women undergoing 6 weeks of radiotherapy were randomized to a yoga (YG; n = 53) or stretching (ST; n = 56) intervention or a waitlist control group (WL; n = 54). Depressive symptoms and sleep disturbances were measured at baseline. Mediator (posttraumatic stress symptoms, benefit finding, and cortisol slope) and outcome (36-item Short Form [SF]-36 mental and physical component scales [MCS and PCS]) variables were assessed at baseline, end-of-treatment, and 1-, 3-, and 6-months posttreatment. Results Baseline depressive symptoms (P = .03) and sleep disturbances (P < .01) moderated the Group x Time effect on MCS, but not PCS. Women with high baseline depressive symptoms in YG reported marginally higher 3-month MCS than their counterparts in WL (P = .11). Women with high baseline sleep disturbances in YG reported higher 3-months MCS than their counterparts in WL (P < .01) and higher 6-month MCS than their counterparts in ST (P = .01). YG led to greater benefit finding than ST and WL across the follow-up (P = .01). Three-month benefit finding partially mediated the effect of YG on 6-month PCS. Posttraumatic stress symptoms and cortisol slope did not mediate treatment effect on QOL. Conclusion Yoga may provide the greatest mental-health-related QOL benefits for those experiencing pre-radiotherapy sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms. Yoga may improve physical-health-related QOL by increasing ability to find benefit in the cancer experience.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the long term effects of yoga based cardiac rehabilitation program with only physiotherapy based program as an add-on to conventional rehabilitation after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) on risk factors. METHODS: In this single blind prospective randomized parallel two armed active control study, 1026 patients posted for CABG at Narayana Hrudayalaya Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bengaluru (India) were screened. Of these, 250 male participants (35-65 years) who satisfied the selection criteria and consented were randomized into two groups. Within and between group comparisons were done at three points of follow up (i.e. 6th week, 6th month, and 12th month) by using Wilcoxon's signed ranks test and Mann Whitney U test respectively. RESULTS: Yoga group had significantly (p = 0.001, Mann Whitney) better improvement in LVEF than control group in those with abnormal baseline EF (/=23) after 12 months. Yoga group showed significant (p = 0.008, Wilcoxon's) reduction in blood glucose at one year in those with high baseline FBS >/=110 mg/dl. There was significantly better improvement in yoga than the control group in HDL (p = 0.003), LDL (p = 0.01) and VLDL (p = 0.03) in those with abnormal baseline values. There was significantly better improvement (p = 0.02, between groups) in positive affect in yoga group. Within Yoga group, there was significant decrease in perceived stress (p = 0.001), anxiety (p = 0.001), depression (p = 0.001), and negative affect (p = 0.03) while in the control group there was reduction (p = 0.003) only in scores on anxiety. CONCLUSION: Addition of yoga based relaxation to conventional post-CABG cardiac rehabilitation helps in better management of risk factors in those with abnormal baseline values and may help in preventing recurrence.

Objectives: This study was aimed to assess the efficacy of yoga-based lifestyle program (YLSP) in improving quality of life (QOL) and stress levels in patients after 5 years of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Methodology: Three hundred patients posted for elective CABG in Narayana Hrudayalaya Super Speciality Hospital, Bengaluru, were randomized into two groups: YLSP and conventional lifestyle program (CLSP), and follow-up was done for 5 years. Intervention: In YLSP group, all practices of integrative approach of yoga therapy such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, and meditation were used as an add-on to conventional cardiac rehabilitation. The control group (CLSP) continued conventional cardiac rehabilitation only. Outcome Measures: World Health Organization (WHO)-QOL BREF Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were assessed before surgery and at the end of the 5(th) year after CABG. As data were not normally distributed, Mann-Whitney U-test was used for between-group comparisons and Wilcoxon's signed-rank test was used for within-group comparisons. Results: At the end of 5 years, mental health (P = 0.05), perceived stress (P = 0.01), and negative affect (NA) (P = 0.05) have shown significant improvements. WHO-QOL BREF score has shown improvements in physical health (P = 0.046), environmental health (P = 0.04), perceived stress (P = 0.001), and NA (P = 0.02) in YLSP than CLSP. Positive affect has significantly improved in CLSP than YLSP. Other domains of WHO-QOL-BREF, PANAS, and HADS did not reveal any significant between-group differences. Conclusion: Addition of long-term YLSP to conventional cardiac rehabilitation brings better improvements in QOL and reduction in stress levels at the end of 5 years after CABG.

This study examined the effects of yoga on quality of life (QOL) and psychosocial outcomes in women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy. Sixty-one women were randomly assigned to either a yoga or a wait-list group. Yoga classes were taught biweekly during the 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Participants completed measures of QOL, fatigue, benefit finding (finding meaning in the cancer experience), intrusive thoughts, sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms, and anxiety before radiotherapy and then again 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after the end of radiotherapy. General linear model analyses revealed that compared to the control group, the yoga group reported significantly better general health perception (p = .005) and physical functioning scores (p = .04) 1 week postradiotherapy; higher levels of intrusive thoughts 1 month postradiotherapy (p = .01); and greater benefit finding 3 months postradiotherapy (p = .01). There were no other group differences in other QOL subscales for fatigue, depression, or sleep scores. Exploratory analyses indicated that intrusive thoughts 1 month after radiotherapy were significantly positively correlated with benefit finding 3 months after radiotherapy (r = .36, p = .011). Our results indicated that the yoga program was associated with statistically and clinically significant improvements in aspects of QOL.