What is the evidence for the use of mindfulness-based interventions in cancer care?

Shennan, C., Payne, S. and Fenlon, D. (2011), What is the evidence for the use of mindfulness-based interventions in cancer care? A review. Psycho-Oncology, 20: 681–697. doi: 10.1002/pon.1819

It is well documented that cancer is frequently accompanied by psychological suffering, that is often long lasting [1]. After the initial stress of a diagnosis of cancer or a relapse of cancer, 10–20% of patients go onto to develop psychiatric disorders of depres- sion and anxiety; that adds to the suffering of the patient, family and friends [2]. Macmillan Cancer Support’s Worried Sick report of 2006 found that more than 45% of patients with cancer said that the emotional effects of cancer were more difficult to deal with than the physical or practical effects [3]. A growing number of people with cancer are using complementary therapies, including meditation, as a way to improve psychological health [4,5]. NICE guidance suggests that psychological interventions should play an integral part of support offered to cancer patients. One of the rapidly emerging influences in the field of health care is mindfulness [6]. This paper aims to explore the evidence for the use of mindfulness interventions in cancer care.

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