Mindfulness-based recovery for distressed survivors of breast cancer

Despite growing evidence in support of mindfulness as an underlying mechanism of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), it has been suggested that nonspecific therapeutic factors, such as the experience of social support, may contribute to the positive effects of MBIs.

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In the present study, we examined whether change in mindfulness and/or social support mediated the effect of Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) compared to another active intervention (i.e. Supportive Expressive Group Therapy (SET)), on change in mood disturbance, stress symptoms and quality of life. A secondary analysis was conducted of a multi-site randomized clinical trial investigating the impacts of MBCR and SET on distressed breast cancer survivors (MINDSET).

Findings showed that increased social support was related to more improvement in mood and stress after MBCR compared to support groups, whereas changes in mindfulness were not. This suggests a more important role for social support in enhancing outcomes in MBCR than previously thought.

Full reference: Schellekens, M.P.J. et al. (2017) Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) versus Supportive Expressive Group Therapy (SET) for distressed breast cancer survivors: evaluating mindfulness and social support as mediators. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 40(3) pp. 414–422

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Mindfulness Therapy Intervention for Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis.

Aivaliotis, V. et al. (2017) Digestive diseases and sciences. 62(2) pp. 502-509

Image shows photomicrograph of calcified debris in distended ducts due to pancreatitis 

Patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) have substantially impaired quality of life (QOL) both physically and mentally. Mindfulness therapy is a form of treatment that has been shown to be beneficial in many medical conditions but has not been evaluated in the CP patient population. The aims of this study were (1) to test the feasibility and usability of a novel telephone-based mindfulness therapy service for patients with CP and (2) to determine whether there was any effect on CP quality of life.

Our telephone-based mindfulness therapy service represents a feasible and easily usable treatment adjunct for patients with CP, which may provide benefit in QOL by improving mental health-related domains.

Read the full abstract here