Health benefits of yoga for cancer survivors: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Author: Niu Niu1, Ruirui Huang2, Junwen Zhao3, Yingchun Zeng4
1 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China.
2 School of Nursing, Hunan University of Medicine, Huaihua, China.
3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Shenzhen Second People's Hospital, Shenzhen, China.
4 School of Medicine, Hangzhou City University, Hangzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs
Date published: 2023 Oct 13
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 100316 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.apjon.2023.100316. , Word Count: 218

To evaluate the effects of yoga on health-related outcomes [i.e., physical function, mental health, and overall quality of life (QOL)] of cancer survivors via a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) over the past 5 years across cancer types.

An updated systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. RCTs published from January 1, 2018, to February 23, 2023, were searched in five English databases (PubMed, The Cochrane Library, ISI, PsycINFO, and CINAHL), three Chinese databases (Wan Fang, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database), and three English clinical trials registry platforms (International Clinical Trials Registry Platform,, and EU Clinical Trials Register).

A total of 34 RCTs were included in this updated review. Yoga benefited the physical function, mental health, and overall QOL of cancer survivors. The effect size of yoga for most physical and mental health-related outcomes was relatively small, but that for the QOL was generally large. The impact of yoga on the QOL of cancer survivors ranged from moderate to high.

Yoga has health benefits for cancer survivors and could therefore be used as an optional supportive intervention for cancer-related symptom management.

Keywords: Cancer survivors; Health-related outcomes; Meta-analysis; Symptom management; Systematic review; Yoga.

PMID: 38426042 PMCID: PMC10904170 DOI: 10.1016/j.apjon.2023.100316