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Yoga, breast cancer-related lymphoedema and well-being: A descriptive report of women’s participation in a clinical trial

Loudon, A, Barnett, T ORCID: 0000-0002-1376-6414 and Williams, A ORCID: 0000-0001-8863-3491 2017 , 'Yoga, breast cancer-related lymphoedema and well-being: A descriptive report of women’s participation in a clinical trial' , Journal of clinical nursing, vol. 26, no. 23-24 , pp. 4685-4695 , doi: 10.1111/jocn.13819.

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:To describe the experiences of women taking part in a yoga intervention trial for breast cancer-related lymphoedema.BACKGROUND:Around 20% of women will experience lymphoedema as a consequence of treatment for breast cancer. Specialist lymphoedema clearing, along with self-management, remains the mainstay of therapy. Yoga, an increasingly popular complementary therapeutic practice, may provide another tool to augment self-management.DESIGN:A qualitative, descriptive design.METHODS:Interviews were conducted with 15 women with stage one breast cancer-related lymphoedema who had completed an 8-week yoga intervention trial. The intervention consisted of a weekly teacher-led 1.5-hr yoga class and a daily home practice using a 45-min DVD. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. These data were then analysed using an iterative-thematic approach.RESULTS:Participants reported improved well-being, increased awareness of their physical body as well as improved physical, mental and social functioning. They gained from being part of the yoga group that also provided a forum for them to share their experiences. Nine women felt empowered to describe their yoga participation as a transformative journey through illness.CONCLUSION:When safe to do so, the holistic practice of yoga may augment and provide additional benefit to current self-management and treatment practices for women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema.RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:Patients with breast cancer-related lymphoedema may seek advice and guidance from nurses and other healthcare professionals on a range of complementary therapies to help relieve symptoms and promote recovery. Patients who choose to augment their treatment of breast cancer-related lymphoedema by practicing yoga should be carefully assessed, be taught an appropriate technique by a qualified yoga teacher/therapist and its impact monitored by their yoga teacher/therapist, breast care nurse, lymphoedema therapist or treating clinician.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Loudon, A and Barnett, T and Williams, A
Keywords: breast cancer, exercise, journey, lymphoedema, nursing, well-being, women, yoga
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of clinical nursing
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0962-1067
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/jocn.13819
Copyright Information:

© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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