Yoga and mental health in cancer study

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Have you been diagnosed with cancer?

Psychological distress in people diagnosed with cancer is common and can have a number of negative consequences for affected people, including a reduced quality of life and increased experience of physical symptoms. Yoga interventions have the potential to address issues such as anxiety and depression to reduce or eliminate these effects.

NICM HRI researchers are currently seeking participants to complete an online survey to help inform a clinical trial to examine the effectiveness of a yoga program for the mental health of people diagnosed with cancer, to be conducted in 2020 .

Who can join?

  • Women aged over 18 years living in Australia, who:
    • Have been diagnosed with breast/gynaecological cancer in the last five years.
    • Have completed chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment and are not taking corticosteroids (stable hormone therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy allowed).
    • Meet criteria for a mood or anxiety disorder and experience symptoms of depression or anxiety.
    • If taking medication or receiving professional mental health assistance, the dose and treatment have remained unchanged for at least 3 months.
    • Have adequate general health to undertake yoga.
    • Are not currently doing yoga more than once a week on average (over the last 3 months).
    • Are able to read and understand English.
    • Have regular access to reliable internet and a device with a web camera.

What's involved?

Participants will be asked to:

  • Read the participant information sheet and provide consent.
  • After an initial assessment and consent, participants will be allocated to either group yoga classes or individual yoga sessions.
    • Participants allocated to the group yoga classes will be required to attend a one-hour group class each week for six weeks.
    • Participants allocated to the individual yoga sessions will be required to attend six one-on-one yoga sessions over six weeks.
  • All participants will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires at week one, four and eight of the study period, as well as short weekly surveys and regular phone calls with the researchers.
  • All sessions will be conducted online using a videoconferencing platform called Zoom.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • You may experience a reduction a severity in your symptoms associated with depression or anxiety.
  • You will help further research on the use of yoga in the management of symptoms of depression and anxiety in people diagnosed with cancer.

Interested in participating in this study?

For more details about the study, please read the following information before deciding whether to participate.

For more information please contact:

Maria Gonzalez
NICM HRI Researcher and Phd candidate


Human Research Ethics Committee Approval: This trial has been approved by Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number: H13735). This study is supported by NICM HRI and Western Sydney University.

Principal Investigator: Professor Jerome Sarris, NICM Health Research Institute