Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world with approximately 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. While women with breast cancer are treated with a multitude of different therapies, these treatments can lead to long-term effects that impact quality of life (i.e. fatigue, pain, lymphedema, anxiety, depression, osteoporosis). With more people looking into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), research on yoga’s effect on quality of life in breast cancer survivors is vital.

Methods: This literature synthesis used PsychINFO, MEDLINE, and CINAHL explore current research on yoga’s effects on quality of life in breast cancer survivors. Search terms included: breast cancer, survivor, quality of life, lifestyle, wellbeing, clinical trial, and controlled trial. Literature was excluded if it included men, women under cancer treatment and if yoga was included in a mindfulness intervention.

Results: Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. Yoga was shown to have a positive impact on fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression, and breast cancer survivors’ quality of life. A majority of the studies measured quality of life using the FACT-B and FACT-G scale. Others used similar measurement tools and qualitative journal entries. Specific studies indicated improvements in aromatase-inhibitor associated arthralgia, diurnal salivary cortisol levels, and menopausal symptoms.

Conclusions: Yoga appears to be beneficial in improving breast cancer survivor’s quality of life. More research is needed. However, nurses can use this information to educate clients about the benefit of yoga in survivorship. This research may promote further utilization of CAM in improving quality of life.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Loerzel, Victoria


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing




Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date


Included in

Nursing Commons