Background: Women undergoing surgical procedures for suspected gynecologic malignancies frequently experience pain and psychological distress related to surgery. Yoga may reduce these negative surgical outcomes. The primary objective of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of evaluating a perioperative brief Yoga Skills Training (YST) in this population. Secondary objectives were to (1) assess the immediate effects of the YST on pain and psychological distress; and (2) provide preliminary data for future studies. Method: Adult women scheduled to undergo an exploratory laparotomy for a suspected gynecologic malignancy were recruited to this one-arm feasibility study. Each woman received the YST, which consisted of three 15-minute sessions, one before and two after surgery. The following constructs were assessed: feasibility (rates of accrual, intervention adherence, measure completion, retention, and level of satisfaction), immediate effects of the YST (visual analogue scale ratings of pain and distress immediately before and after each session), and descriptive statistics for measures to be used in future studies. Results: Of the 33 eligible women, 18 were approached and 10 agreed to participate (mean age = 54.7 years; 90% White). Two women discontinued the study prior to starting the YST sessions. Of the eight participants who received the YST, five completed the pre-surgery session (63%) and seven completed (88%) both post-surgical sessions; one woman withdrew after one YST session. Participants reported high satisfaction with the YST. Acute pain and distress decreased from before to immediately after the YST session with moderate to large effects: pain, d's = −0.67 to −0.95; distress, d's = −0.66 to −1.08. Conclusions: This study demonstrated reasonable indicators of feasibility. In addition, patients showed short-term reductions in pain and distress. Next steps include attention to improving staff availability and intervention implementation in order to feasibly evaluate the perioperative YST, which shows promise for reducing postoperative pain and distress.

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