Maria Gonzalez

Evaluation of a yoga intervention on mental health in cancer patients

Cancer represents a major cause of illness with substantial social and economic impact. In Australia, approximately one in two people aged over 85 years will develop cancer. Due to medical advances, survival rates for all cancers in Australia have improved over time. In spite of this increased survival, the diagnosis of cancer and its treatment can cause a number of psychological problems including anxiety and depression.

To date, the effect of yoga on anxiety or depression has not been studied in people with cancer and specific mental health concerns. Maria’s project seeks to develop and evaluate effects of a yoga program on the mental health of people with cancer, presenting an opportunity to increase quality of life and wellbeing. A randomised controlled clinical trial will be conducted in people diagnosed with cancer and either clinical or subclinical (elevated symptoms) depression or anxiety. We will also address concerns regarding heterogeneity of yoga interventions in prior research by developing yoga practice recommendations specific for people with cancer and mental health concerns using a consensus-based process.


Professor Jerome Sarris; Dr Suzanne Grant