Mindfulness and Cancer Pain
Pain is the most distressing and incapacitating symptom experienced by cancer patients. While
mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) interventions have been conducted with cancer patients,
no study has explored psychological and pain-related factors in patients with cancer-related pain. The
effects of an eight-week MBSR intervention were investigated on pre-post scores for pain
catastrophizing, pain-related anxiety, pain intensity ratings, and mental adjustment to cancer in breast
cancer patients with pain. Forty-one women diagnosed withcancer-related pain participated in the
study. The MBSR was conducted over eight weeks; participants were trained in the body scan, sitting
meditation, and hatha yoga with formal guidance and direction as to daily homework practice. Results
showed significant reduction in scores for pain catastrophizing, pain anxiety, and pain ratings;
significant positive changes occurred for mental adjustment to cancer. This study is the first to
investigate MBSR effects for psychological factors in patients with cancer pain.
Dr. A. M. Tacón,
Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
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