Research Trial: yoga4cancer Pilot and Feasibility Study

Establishing “yoga4cancer” as the Hospital-Based Gold-Standard Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Tari Prinster, Josi Kytle, Patricia Salner, Roberta Garceau, Susan Frassinelli, Julia Kuhlberg, Eric R. Secor,  & Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, Department of Integrative Medicine

Poster Presented at:

  • Society of Integrative Oncology Conference, Oct 2019. Download
  • Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine in September 2018. Download.

Background and Purpose:

The benefits of yoga in improving cancer treatment and survivorship have been investigated in numerous condition with a variety of yoga traditions. Within the HealthCare Cancer Institute, Hartford Hospital, yoga has been offered to cancer patients by numerous practitioners, with different training and expertise. Often this results in difficulty for patients, families and clinicians in selecting an optimal yoga referral and treatment. Integrative Medicine partnered with yoga4cancer – “Y4C” creator Tari Prinster to evaluate establishing Y4C as the “gold standard” program for our cancer community. Therefore our purpose was to assess the feasibility of:

  • Training high quality yoga providers in the Y4C method;
  • Developing an IRB approved protocol with QOL and Y4C outcomes;
  • Recruiting cancer patients into the hospital-based Y4C program.

Review Poster Below: 


It is feasible to establish a Hospital-based Y4C program. Recruitment is ongoing with goals of 150 cancer patients. Active assessments include: Retention, QOL, Y4C performance and participant satisfaction. Future plans include assessing benefit by gender, cancer type, continuum (newly diagnosed, active treatment, survivor ship) and system wide (to over 6 hospitals) expansion of Y4C.

  • Feasibility to establish an IRB approved Hospital-based “Y4C” pilot program with Y4C trained yoga therapists.
  • Demographics and changes in Y4C Poses & QOL can be assessed over time
  • Participants are predominately Caucasian, female, early 60s, with breast cancer
  • Preliminary improvements of Sleep & Depression from Week 1 to Week 4
  • Preliminary improvements in ability to perform Y4C poses form 4 to 11% from Week 1 to Week 4

Efforts are underway to:

  • Increase diversity and male participants
  • Enroll >100 cancer patients

The Pilot research continues in 2020 with additional cohorts.


Research was supported by grants from Tutu Project and yoga4cancer Foundation. Lululemon provided grants for our “Y4C” Yoga therapist training. Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute & the Bone and Joint Institute provided staffing, administrative resources and studio space for our Yoga sessions.

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