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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
3 days ago
Older women with longer endogenous oestrogen exposure and hormone therapy use are at much higher odds of having favourable cognitive status in late life, a recent study suggests.
Yesterday
In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), rivaroxaban monotherapy is noninferior to combination treatment with an antiplatelet therapy in terms of cutting the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, according to data from the AFIRE trial.
Elvira Manzano, 2 days ago
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D3 for up to 5 years has no effect on kidney function in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the VITAL-DKD* ancillary study has shown.
3 days ago
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