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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, Zacharias

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.401
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.429
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 1.255

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Using a standardized Viniyoga protocol for lung cancer survivors: a pilot study examining effects on breathing ease

1Wayne State University, College of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan, United States

2Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 175–187, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, ISSN (Print) 2194-6329, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2012-0013, June 2013

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Although lung cancer is perceived as a dire diagnosis, increases in the 5-year survival rate of individuals with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been reported. Survivors, however, continue to be excessively burdened with symptoms such as respiratory distress which interfere with functioning and quality of life. While exercise and physical activity are strongly recommended, NSCLC survivors may be reluctant to participate due to actual or anticipated shortness of breath exacerbated with movement.

This quasi-experimental, intervention-only pilot study aimed to determine the effects of an 8-week standardized yoga protocol for Stage I–IIIa NSCLC survivors (n=9). The protocol was developed within the Viniyoga (Hatha) tradition with respiratory experts. Breathing ease, dyspnea, oxygen saturation, and respiratory function were explored in relationship to yoga practice (45-minute sessions once per week and home practice) using repeated-measures analysis. Number of participants reporting dyspnea ranged from 25 to 50% prior to practice with no significant increase during sessions, and moderate decreases noted at times. Oxygen saturation remained high and vital signs stable; forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) values increased significantly over the 14-week study period (p<0.0001). Yoga, with an emphasis on postures coordinated with breathing and meditation practices, offers a potentially feasible and beneficial option that requires further study in this population.

Keywords: yoga; breathing; lung cancer

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