Improvement of well-being in cancer patients by yoga training

  • Jörg Haier Healthcare Management, Nordakademie Graduate School, Hamburg
  • Antje Duda Comprehensive Cancer Center Münster, University Hospital Münster
  • Claudia Branss-Tallen Comprehensive Cancer Center Münster, University Hospital Münster
Keywords: cancer, fatigue, non-pharmacological interventions, physical activity, WHO-5 well-being index, yoga
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Background: Cancer patients frequently suffer from a reduced physical activity. Non-pharmacological interventions, such as yoga, provide opportunities to deal with these symptoms. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of yoga on the well-being of cancer patients.

Methods: Between 2015 and 2017, we analyzed the effects of yoga on the well-being of cancer patients. Fifty-one patients received yoga training specifically designed to address cancer-related problems. Before the start (SoS) and after the end (EoS) of training, the WHO-5 well-being index was used to evaluate patients’ perception.

Results: WHO-5 scores significantly improved from 47.1±21.4 at SoS to 69.7±15.1 at EoS. Patients in the middle age group (EoS–SoS: 28.0±20.6) showed a significantly higher benefit (p<0.005) compared with age groups <40 years (EoS–SoS: 10.7±15.4) and>60 years (EoS–SoS: 16.0±12.1). Patients with low initial scores benefited most from yoga.

Conclusion: Our study showed that yoga training under experienced supervision could serve as a beneficial complementary treatment in cancer patients. Best effects were observed in patients with highly reduced well-being and40–60-year-old patients.


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How to Cite
Haier J, Duda A, Branss-Tallen C. Improvement of well-being in cancer patients by yoga training. Med J Indones [Internet]. 2018Oct.12 [cited 2024Jun.20];27(3):185-93. Available from:
Clinical Research