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Cancer Nurs. 2011 Jan-Feb;34(1):24-31. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181e2d0df.

Experiences of a mindfulness-based stress-reduction intervention among patients with cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is increasing recognition of mindfulness and mindfulness training as a way to decrease stress and increase psychological functioning.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the perceived effects and experiences of mindfulness stress-reduction training as described by patients with cancer participating in a mindfulness-based stress-reduction training program.

INTERVENTIONS/METHODS:

The study is based on analysis of data collected in semistructured interviews of the participants (n = 18) after the completion of a mindfulness-meditation training program. The intervention consisted of an 8-week mindfulness-training course.

RESULTS:

Most participants expressed a number of perceived positive effects of participating in the mindfulness program including increased calm, enhanced sleep quality, more energy, less physical pain, and increased well-being. However, a few participants experienced no effect. Both negative and positive views of the specific meditation and yoga exercises included in the program were expressed. Components that were described as of particular importance, regarding the experience of participating in the program, were the nonjudgmental and accepting approach guiding the program and the instructors, the influence of the group process and sharing experiences with patients with similar experiences, and the emphasis on increased awareness of the present moment.

CONCLUSION:

This study gives support for the use of mindfulness programs in reducing stress-related complaints among some patients with a cancer diagnosis.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

The positive experiences of mindfulness training reported by patients with cancer call for further studies examining the possibilities and requirements for implementation of mindfulness programs in clinical practice.

PMID:
20555256
DOI:
10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181e2d0df
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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