Jyoti Kadyan, Monika Jha, Poonam Joshi, Gautam Sharma*, Aditi P Sinha, Rachna Seth, Sameer Bakhshi, Aman Agarwal, Sriloy Mohanty
Background: Children undergoing chemotherapy for cancer often report fatigue, pain, and other clusters of symptoms. These symptoms are distressing and negatively influence the self-care capacities and quality of life. The pandemic has resulted in overburdening of the healthcare systems stemming from aberrations in the management of non-COVID cases leading to a surge in the need of an alternate system of therapy and its administration. Preliminary studies depict that yoga may improve cancer-related symptoms of pain and fatigue. The video-assisted administration of yoga initiates a whole new era of digitization of yoga services like other e-health modalities, a prime requisite in the pandemic era. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of an online assisted yoga-based intervention in improving cancer-related pain, fatigue, and quality of life in children undergoing chemotherapy during COVID-19.
Methods: In total, 40 patients who underwent at least one cycle of chemotherapy were subjected to 12 weeks yoga intervention. The 45 minutes of online yoga intervention comprised of preparatory loosening and breathing practices, restorative yoga asanas (postures), and meditation which was developed and validated during the study. In addition, fatigue, pain, and quality of life were assessed using pediatric functional assessment for chronic illness therapy, numerical pain rating scale, and pediatric quality of Life Inventory pre- and post-intervention and follow-ups.
Results: Children between the age group of 11.4 ± 2.8 years underwent yoga for 12 weeks. There is a temporal decrease in pain and fatigue scores over 12 weeks with yoga practice (p<0.01). In addition, an improvement in the domains of quality of life was also observed in these children (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Online Yoga and mindfulness-based intervention for 12 weeks can effectively improve cancer-related pain and fatigue and Quality of life in children undergoing chemotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic.