Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, affects almost 400,000 individuals in the United States,and has devastating effects on physical and psychological health which compromise overall quality of life (QOL). Although the 5-year survival rate has slowly increased for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, excessive symptom burden due to stage at diagnosis, cancer treatment, and concurrent co-morbidity remain extremely prevalent. Fear and anxiety is further intensified due to respiratory compromise, increasing stress, and impairing sleep and mood. Hence, there is a critical need for evidenced-based adjunctive therapies such as yoga for symptom management. This two-group randomized controlled study aims to (1) Identify the effects of a standardized, 12-week yoga intervention on breathing, specifically spirometry values, respiratory rate, reported dyspnea intensity and discomfort, oxygenation, and breathing awareness of Stage I-IIIa NSCLC patients as compared with a health education group;and (2) Evaluate the effects of a standardized, 12-week yoga intervention on reported stress, mood, sleep and quality of life of Stage I-IIIa NSCLC patients as compared with a light exercise (LE) group. A sample of Stage I-IIIa NSCLC patients (N=60) who have undergone surgical intervention will be recruited at two National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers (lung clinics). Patients with bone metastasis, cognitive impairment, severe respiratory problems and/or receiving radiation will be excluded. An estimated 3-4 patients per month will be enrolled over a two-year period. Participants will be randomized to the intervention or control condition, defined as 12-weeks of a 40 minute yoga class (YG), or LE session once per week, respectively. The LE sessions will include light exercises using resistance bands, stretching and gentle walking;the session will be provided by a trained research assistant. Yoga classes will be provided by trained yoga teachers who have been oriented to our standardized yoga protocol (tested in previous pilot study). YG and LE participants will receive illustrated manuals to guide home practice;a CD and/or DVD will be given at the end of 12-weeks for the follow-up period. Outcome variables and related measures include: Breathing (spirometry, pulse oximetry, dyspnea, respiration rate, 6-Minute Walk test);oxygenation (pulse oximetry;heart rate);stress (Perceived Stress Scale;diurnal salivary cortisol);mood (Profile of Mood States-Brief);sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index;Actigraphy);and QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment-Lung). Participants will also complete self report logs on yoga and LE home practice, and a breathing awareness journal. Measures will be obtained at Baseline, and at three, six, nine and/or twelve-week intervals (depending on the measure), and at three follow- up time points (one, three and six months) post intervention.
Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, has devastating effects on physical and psychological health which compromise overall quality of life. Although the survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer patients is increasing, severe symptom burden remains highly prevalent. This study will identify effects of yoga on breathing, stress, mood and sleep, and illuminate potential public health benefits in terms of increased functionality and well-being of this cancer population.