Kovacic, T., Zagoricnik, M., & Kovacic, M. (2013). Impact of relaxation training according to the Yoga In Daily Life® system on anxiety after breast cancer surgery. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 10, 1–12.doi: 10.1515/jcim-2012-0009
To evaluate the immediate and short-term effects of relaxation training with the Yoga in Daily Life program on anxiety in patients with breast cancer
Patients were randomized to standard physiotherapy or standard physiotherapy plus the relaxation program after surgery for breast cancer. Physiotherapy was provided for one week. The experimental group also had one-hour group sessions daily in groups of three for one week. The program involved relaxation breathing exercises, visualization, and body scan, providing progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Those in the experimental group were given audiocassettes with instructions for home practice and were asked to do this daily for another three weeks.
There was significant reduction in anxiety in the experimental group (p < .01), while mean anxiety level in the control group remained essentially the same. State anxiety levels were significantly lower after physiotherapy and relaxation training in the experimental group compared to controls one hour after physiotherapy (p = .038).
Visualization and progressive muscle relaxation as provided in this program may help reduce anxiety after surgery among patients with breast cancer.
Relaxation therapy including visualization and progressive muscle relaxation as accomplished in this program may be helpful for patients to reduce anxiety. This study has limitations and does not provide strong support for effectiveness; however, these are very low-risk types of interventions that may be helpful to some patients.