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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 758641, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/758641
Review Article

The Evolution of Mindfulness-Based Physical Interventions in Breast Cancer Survivors

1Department of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
2Nicotine Research Program, Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 8 May 2012; Accepted 27 June 2012

Academic Editor: Andreas Michalsen

Copyright © 2012 Daniela L. Stan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Survivors of breast cancer are faced with a multitude of medical and psychological impairments during and after treatment and throughout their lifespan. Physical exercise has been shown to improve survival and recurrence in this population. Mind-body interventions combine a light-moderate intensity physical exercise with mindfulness, thus having the potential to improve both physical and psychological sequelae of breast cancer treatments. We conducted a review of mindfulness-based physical exercise interventions which included yoga, tai chi chuan, Pilates, and qigong, in breast cancer survivors. Among the mindfulness-based interventions, yoga was significantly more studied in this population as compared to tai chi chuan, Pilates, and qigong. The participants and the outcomes of the majority of the studies reviewed were heterogeneous, and the population included was generally not selected for symptoms. Yoga was shown to improve fatigue in a few methodologically strong studies, providing reasonable evidence for benefit in this population. Improvements were also seen in sleep, anxiety, depression, distress, quality of life, and postchemotherapy nausea and vomiting in the yoga studies. Tai chi chuan, Pilates, and qigong were not studied sufficiently in breast cancer survivors in order to be implemented in clinical practice.