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Effects of Pranayama on Fatigue Among Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

18 Years
Not Enrolling
Breast Cancer

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Trial Information

Effects of Pranayama on Fatigue Among Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

Fatigue is the most common complaint among cancer patients. This pilot study will evaluate
the effects of pranayama (ancient yoga breathing techniques) on fatigue and quality of life
among 30 patients undergoing chemotherapy, on an every 2, 3, or 4 week schedule, with a
fatigue score of at least 4 on a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (most). Patients will be randomized
to either pranayama or wait-list control. The pranayama group will learn and practice 3
breathing techniques on a daily basis. The study period will occur during 2 consecutive
cycles of chemotherapy (cycle A and Cycle B), and the wait-list control patients will
crossover to the treatment arm at the beginning of his/her Cycle B. Fatigue will be measured
using the revised Piper Fatigue Scale along with quality of life measures. These study
measures will be conducted at baseline, at the end of cycle A, and at the end of cycle B. We
hypothesize that pranayama will improve clinical symptoms of fatigue and quality of life
among patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Inclusion Criteria:

- A diagnosis of cancer that requires at least 2 further cycles of chemotherapy on an
every 14, 21, or 28 day schedule

- A score of at least 4/10 on a 0-10 (0-none, 10-most) visual analog scale for fatigue
at the time of enrollment

- Able to read, write and understand English

- Karnofsky Performance Status greater than 60

- Ability to give informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Severe COPD

- Receiving chronic oxygen therapy

- Congestive heart failure: NYHA class 3 or greater

- Transfusion dependent anemia

- Uncontrolled thyroid disease

- Advance kidney disease requiring dialysis

- Advance liver disease

- More than three previous chemotherapy regimens

- Current, ongoing yoga breathing practice

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care

Outcome Measure:


Outcome Description:

Feasibility will be evaluated based on recruitment, retention, completion of study classes and home practice, and completion of study measures

Outcome Time Frame:

Baseline and second cycle of chemotherapy

Safety Issue:



United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

October 2008

Completion Date:

December 2009

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Chemotherapy
  • Yoga
  • Breathing
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Pranayama
  • Stress
  • Fatigue-associated symptoms in chemotherapy patients
  • Quality of life in chemotherapy patients
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Fatigue



Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSFSan Francisco, California  94115