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OBJECTIVES:Pain-related cognitive content (what people think about pain) and cognitive processes (how people think about pain; what they do with their pain-related thoughts) and their interaction are hypothesized to play distinct roles in patient function. However, questions have been raised regarding whether it is possible or practical to assess cognitive content and cognitive process as distinct domains. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which measures that seem to assess mostly pain-related cognitive content, cognitive processes, and content and process, are relatively independent from each other and contribute unique variance to the prediction of patient function. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Individuals with chronic low back pain (N=165) participating in an ongoing RCT were administered measures of cognitions, pain, and function (depressive symptoms and pain interference) pretreatment. RESULTS: Analyses provided support for the hypothesis that cognitive content and cognitive process, while related, can be assessed as distinct components. However, the measure assessing a cognitive process-mindfulness-evidenced relatively weak associations with function, especially compared with the stronger and more consistent findings for the measures of content (catastrophizing and self-efficacy). DISCUSSION: The results provide preliminary evidence for the possibility that mindfulness could have both benefits and costs. Research to evaluate this possibility is warranted.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains a terminal illness for which major treatment advances are slow to appear, and hence it is crucial that effective palliative interventions be developed to reduce the cancer-related symptoms of women with this condition during the remaining years of their lives. This pilot/feasibility study examined a novel, yoga-based palliative intervention, the Yoga of Awareness Program, in a sample of women with MBC. The eight-week protocol included gentle yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation, didactic presentations, and group interchange. Outcome was assessed using daily measures of pain, fatigue, distress, invigoration, acceptance, and relaxation during two preintervention weeks and the final two weeks of the intervention. Thirteen women completed the intervention (mean age=59; mean time since diagnosis=7 years; two African American, 11 Caucasian). During the study, four participants had cancer recurrences, and the physical condition of several others deteriorated noticeably. Despite low statistical power, pre-to-post multilevel outcomes analyses showed significant increases in invigoration and acceptance. Lagged analyses of length of home yoga practice (controlling for individual mean practice time and outcome levels on the lagged days) showed that on the day after a day during which women practiced more, they experienced significantly lower levels of pain and fatigue, and higher levels of invigoration, acceptance, and relaxation. These findings support the need for further investigation of the effects of the Yoga of Awareness Program in women with MBC.