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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.
Mind-body practices that intentionally generate positive emotion could improve health professionals’ well-being and compassion. However, the feasibility and impact of clinician training in these practices is unknown. Data were analyzed from 3 online modules offered to health professionals: (a) Gratitude, (b) Positive Word, and (c) Loving-kindness/Compassion meditation. Paired t tests were used to assess pre- to posttraining changes in gratitude (Gratitude Questionnaire), well-being (World Health Organization Well-Being Index), self-compassion (Neff’s Self-Compassion Scale), and confidence in providing compassionate care (Confidence in Providing Calm, Compassionate Care Scale). The 177 enrollees included diverse practitioners (nurses, physicians, social workers, and others). Training was associated with statistically significant improvements in gratitude (38.3 ± 4.6 to 39.5 ± 3.3), well-being (16.4 ± 4.0 to 17.9 ± 4.2), self-compassion (39.5 ± 8.1 to 43.1 ± 7.6), and confidence in providing compassionate care (73.3 ± 16.4 to 80.9 ± 13.8; P < .001 for all comparisons). Brief, online training appeals to diverse health professionals and improves their gratitude, well-being, self-compassion, and confidence in providing compassionate care.