Feasibility of Mind-Body Movement Programs for Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

To evaluate mind-body movement exercise (MBME) classes (yoga, tai chi, and Qigong) for cancer survivors.

Design:

A single-group, repeated-measures design.

Setting:

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

Sample:

33 adult cancer survivors, with any cancer diagnosis, participating in MBME classes.

Methods:

The researchers sought to examine feasibility of multiple data collection time points and data collection measures; acceptability; and changes to physical, emotional, and biometric measures over time, as a result of participation in MBME classes.

Main Research Variables:

Quality of life, sleep, depressive symptomatology, fatigue, stress, upper body strength, gait and balance, body mass index, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Findings:

The current study was feasible because survivors were willing to participate and completed most of the questionnaires. Participants found these classes to be beneficial not only for exercise, but also for social support and social connectedness. Poor sleep quality was consistently reported by participants. MBME classes should be recommended to survivors and are beneficial for oncology practices to offer.

Conclusions:

Conducting MBME research with cancer survivors is feasible, and participants find the MBME acceptable and a way of addressing health and managing cancer-related symptoms.

Implications for Nursing:

Nurses should help patients and caregivers identify locations and times when MBME class participation is possible, assess MBME class participation during each clinic visit to promote continued involvement and to understand if positive effects are occurring, and continue to provide support for MBME classes throughout the survivorship experience.

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