Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Oncology: Rationale and Review
Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2005
Pages: 139 - 145
Source ID: shanti-sources-53381
Abstract: The use of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programmes has become increasingly common in many healthcare settings over the last decade. However, the use and indications for MBSR in an oncology setting has not been well explicated. This paper provides an overview of the psychosocial challenges of cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, followed by a description of how MBSR programmes have and may be used with cancer populations, using our programme in Calgary, Canada, as an exemplar.Research investigating the use of MBSR shows significant improvements in mood, decreased stress symptoms, and normalisation of hormonal and immune function. MBSR has also been shown to be effective for decreasing the high levels of sleep disturbance often found in cancer patients. An instrument to measure levels of mindfulness, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), has been developed and validated for use with cancer patients. Issues germane to working with this population such as considerations during patient screening for the MBSR programme and facilitatory training are discussed. Finally, the use of research designs such as dismantling studies and qualitative methods are considered.