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author:("moiani, Mona")
1.  Impact of Iyengar yoga on quality of life in young women with rheumatoid arthritis 
The Clinical journal of pain  2013;29(11):988-997.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, disabling disease that can greatly compromise health related quality of life (HRQOL). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a 6-week twice/week Iyengar yoga (IY) program on HRQOL of young adults with RA compared to a usual-care waitlist control group.
The program was designed to improve the primary outcome of HRQOL including pain, as well as disability and psychological functioning in patients. Assessments were collected pre, post, and at 2-months following treatment. Weekly ratings of anxiety, depression, pain and sleep were also recorded. A total of 26 participants completed the intervention (yoga = 11; usual care waitlist = 15). All participants were female (mean age =28 years).
Overall attrition was low at 15%. On average, women in the yoga group attended 96% of the yoga classes. No adverse events were reported. Relative to the usual-care waitlist, women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvement on standardized measures of HRQOL, pain disability, general health, mood, fatigue, acceptance of chronic pain and self-efficacy regarding pain at post treatment. Almost half of the yoga group reported clinically meaningful symptom improvement. Analysis of the uncontrolled effects and maintenance of treatment effects showed improvements in HRQOL general health, pain disability and weekly ratings of pain, anxiety and depression that maintained at follow-up.
The findings suggest a brief IY intervention is a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for young people with RA, leading to health related quality of life (HRQOL), pain disability, fatigue, and mood benefits. Moreover, improvements in quality of life, pain disability and mood persisted at the 2-month follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3644391  PMID: 23370082
Yoga; arthritis; young adults
2.  “Now I see a brighter day”: expectations and perceived benefits of an Iyengar yoga intervention for young patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of joints and associated fatigue, deteriorated range of motion, and impaired psychosocial functioning. Young adults with RA are at a particular risk for compromised health-related quality of life, and there is a need for safe, effective complementary treatment in addition to traditional medical approaches. The aim of the present study was to use face-to-face participant interviews, conducted before and after an Iyengar yoga (IY) program, to examine mechanisms through which yoga may be beneficial to young adults with RA.
This pilot study utilized a single-arm design where all participants received the intervention. Classes were taught twice per week (1.5 hours each) for 6 weeks by an IY teacher qualified in therapeutics. Interview themes included participants’ baseline expectations about yoga and viewpoints as to how their functioning had been impacted by the IY intervention were examined. Five young adults with RA aged 24–31 years (mean = 28; 80% female) completed the yoga intervention. Participants consistently reported that yoga helped with energy, relaxation and mood and they discussed perceived mechanisms for how yoga impacted well-being. Mechanisms included physical changes such as range of motion and physiological awareness, and psychospiritual developments such as acceptance, coping, self-efficacy and mindfulness. Though the study is limited, participants’ responses provide compelling evidence that IY for RA patients is an intervention worthy of further exploration. The mechanisms and outcomes reported by participants support a biopsychosocial model, which proposes that yoga benefits patients through both physiological and psychospiritual changes.
PMCID: PMC3493157  PMID: 23145356
Iyengar yoga; Rheumatoid arthritis; Qualitative data
3.  Yoga for Youth in Pain 
Holistic nursing practice  2012;26(5):262-271.
Children, adolescents, and young adults do not typically feature in clinics, studies, and mainstream notions of chronic pain. Yet many young people experience debilitating pain for extended periods of time. Chronic pain in these formative years may be especially important to treat in order for young patients to maintain life tasks and to prevent protracted disability. The Pediatric Pain Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a multidisciplinary treatment program designed for young people with chronic pain and their families. We offer both conventional and complementary medicine to treat the whole individual. This article describes the work undertaken in the clinic and our newly developed Yoga for Youth Research Program. The clinical and research programs fill a critical need to provide service to youth with chronic pain and to scientifically study one of the more popular complementary treatments we offer, Iyengar yoga.
PMCID: PMC3493178  PMID: 22864296
chronic pain; complementary medicine; pediatrics; yoga
4.  Confronting chemobrain: an in-depth look at survivors’ reports of impact on work, social networks, and health care response 
Journal of Cancer Survivorship  2009;3(4):223-232.
Mild cognitive impairment following chemotherapy is one of the most commonly reported post treatment symptoms by breast cancer survivors. This deterioration in cognitive function, commonly referred to as “chemobrain” or “chemofog,” was largely unacknowledged by the medical community until recent years. Although chemobrain has now become the subject of more vigorous exploration, little is known about this specific phenomenon’s psychosocial impact on breast cancer survivors. This research documents in-depth the effects that cognitive impairment has on women’s personal and professional lives, and our data suggest that greater attention needs to be focused on this arena of survivorship.
The results are based on an in-depth qualitative study of 74 white and African American breast cancer survivors in California who experience post-treatment side effects. The data reported herein were obtained through the use of focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Our data indicate that cognitive impairment can be problematic for survivors, with many asserting that it is their most troublesome post treatment symptom. Survivors report diminished quality of life and daily functioning as a result of chemobrain. Respondents detail a range of coping strategies that they are forced to employ in order to manage their social and professional lives.
Chemobrain significantly impairs a proportion of cancer survivors, at great cost to them economically, emotionally, and interpersonally. This suggests that more research needs to be conducted on the psychosocial ramifications of post treatment symptoms in order to inform the efforts of the medical and mental health communities as well as the support networks of survivors.
Implications for cancer survivors
A better and broader understanding of the effects of cognitive impairment both in the medical community and among lay people could pave the way for improved social and psychological services for this population.
PMCID: PMC2775113  PMID: 19760150
Breast cancer survivor; Chemobrain; Chemotherapy effects; Cognitive impairment; Psychosocial; Qualitative

Results 1-4 (4)