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05 Nov 2019
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Mindfulness-based interventions ease distress in cancer patients, survivors

22 Sep 2019

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) effectively alleviate psychological distress among cancer patients and survivors, reports a recent meta-analysis.

Twenty-nine independent randomized controlled trials were deemed eligible for inclusion, yielding a cumulative sample of 3,274 participants (mean age, 55 years; 86 percent female). Only papers that employed MBIs with mindfulness as the main component were retrieved. Acceptable outcomes included at least one measure of distress, such as anxiety, depression and perceived stress.

MBIs had a statistically significant but small effect on psychological distress immediately after treatment (Hedges’ g, 0.32; p<0.001). The same was true for self-reported symptoms of anxiety (Hedges’ g, 0.36; p<0.001), depression (Hedges’ g, 0.38; p<0.001), fatigue (Hedges’ g, 0.51; p=0.001) and the fear of cancer recurrence (Hedges’ g, 0.29; p=0.001).

Age and the type of control group used appeared to be potential moderators, such that studies with younger participants and passive controls returned larger effect sizes for MBIs.

When assessed after a mean follow-up of 6.6 months, MBI continued to produce significant benefits in terms of psychological distress (Hedges’ g, 0.19; p=0.002), depressive symptoms (Hedges’ g, 0.20; p=0.04), sleep disturbance (Hedges’ g, 0.23; p=0.047), pain (Hedges’ g, 0.20; p=0.016) and anxiety (Hedges g, 0.36; p=0.001).

“MBIs may be relevant treatment options for cancer patients and survivors, although direct comparisons of MBIs with [cognitive behavioural therapy] are needed for this patient group,” said researchers. “This is an important area for future research.”

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Most Read Articles
05 Nov 2019
Low total cholesterol levels appear to carry increased major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) hazard in older men without ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and not receiving statin therapy but not to those on statins, according to data from the CHAMP (Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project) cohort.
2 days ago
Better sleep appears to weaken pain and fatigue in older, community-dwelling adults with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), reports a recent study.
6 days ago
Maribavir 400 mg twice daily appears to have comparable efficacy to valganciclovir at clearing cytomegalovirus viraemia in transplant recipients, a study has found.
5 days ago
Individuals with and without gout appear to have a similar risk of developing colorectal cancer, suggesting that gout does not contribute to a risk increase, a study has found.