The diagnosis of a brain tumor (i.e., glioma) and its treatment tends to be difficult for not only patients but also
their families. As patients with brain tumors face a poor prognosis and high symptom burden, family members
play a vital role in offering ongoing emotional support and physical care. Although family caregivers want to
provide quality care to their loved one, caring for a loved one with brain cancer is emotionally and physically
taxing, and caregivers report high prevalence rates of psychological distress, fatigue, and sleep disturbances,
which may undermine the quality of care they are able to provide to the patient. Consequently, there is a high
need to develop supportive care programs that teach caregivers effective self-care behaviors and skills to
manage their own symptoms. Mind-body interventions (e.g., yoga, meditation, tai chi) have been shown to
improve the QOL of cancer patients, but little is known whether these types of interventions are feasible and
efficacious in improving caregiver burden. Moreover, there is reason to believe that delivering a supportive
care intervention to both caregivers and patients together may be advantageous regarding study feasibility as
well as treatment efficacy. Thus, the proposed investigation will examine the role of a yoga program in
managing QOL in caregiver-patient dyads. Dyads will be randomly assigned to either a caregiver-only yoga, a
caregiver-patient dyadic yoga or a waitlist control group. Prior to randomization, caregivers and patients will
complete standard QOL and symptom self-report measures. Caregiver and patient healthcare utilization data
will also be collected. Feasibility data will be documented (e.g., consent, attrition, adherence) throughout.
Participants in the yoga groups will receive 15 practice sessions (45 min each). We will incorporate the
interventions into patients' radiation treatment (RT) plans as the yoga programs may be especially useful at
this time to buffer symptom burden that ensues. These data allow us to address two fundamental questions: 1)
is it feasible to implement a randomized controlled trial of a caregiver and dyadic yoga intervention involving
caregivers and brain tumor patients undergoing radiotherapy? And, 2) is there preliminary evidence of
treatment efficacy in regard to QOL outcomes of a dyadic versus caregiver-only intervention compared to a
waitlist control group? We will use these data to determine if a future, larger study is warranted. This project
represents a major step towards managing QOL in families coping with a life threatening disease.
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