Background: Complications of breast cancer treatment can cause physical and psychosocial distress in patients. Yoga demonstrates substantial potential as a supportive therapy for patients with breast cancer. Our aim is to conduct a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of yoga in enhancing the quality of life (QoL) of patients with breast cancer. Methods: We searched for studies published before March 2020 in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Individual effect sizes were standardized, and the pooled effect size was calculated using a random effect model. Measured outcomes included QoL, anxiety and depression, stress, fatigue, pain severity, and sleep quality. Results: In total, 26 trials involving 2069 patients were reviewed. Significant enhancement in QoL was observed immediately after the yoga intervention. The pooled mean differences in social (weighted mean difference [WMD]: 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.12–2.61), emotional (WMD: 1.46, 95% CI 0.26–2.66), and functional well-being (WMD: 2.04, 95% CI 0.21–3.87) were significantly higher in the yoga group than in the control group. Patients practicing yoga exhibited significant improvements in physical well-being, mental well-being, and sleep quality as well as reductions in anxiety, depression, stress, fatigue, and pain severity after the intervention. Conclusions: Yoga may enhance QoL in patients with breast cancer experiencing post-treatment complications. Therefore, we recommend yoga as a supportive therapy for patients with breast cancer to relieve post-treatment distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-276
Number of pages13
JournalBreast Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • Meta-analysis
  • Quality of life
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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