Improve Quality of Life in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Quality of Life in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Results show promise for mindfulness-based interventions to treat common psychological problems such as anxiety, stress, and depression in cancer survivors and to improve overall quality of life.” — Linda E. Carlson

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Insomnia is a common occurrence in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. But, most research is with western populations and there are very few that study the effectiveness of mindfulness training with Asian populations.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Program on Quality of Life in Cancer Outpatients: An Exploratory Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041936/ ), Chang and colleagues recruited Taiwanese outpatient cancer patients and separated them into a usual care group and a mindfulness meditation group. Mindfulness meditation was taught in once a month for 3 months 2.5-hour sessions focusing on sitting insight meditation. The participants were expected to practice at home daily. They were measured before and after training and 3 month later for quality of life, including subscales for physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment.

 

They found that the mindfulness meditation group had significant improvements in their quality of life including all 4 subscales while the usual care group did not. These improvements in quality of life were sustained 3 months later. These results are similar to previously reported improvements in quality of life in cancer patients produced by mindfulness training. But, these findings extend these to include oriental populations. Hence mindfulness training appears to be a safe and effective treatment to improve the well-being and relieve the suffering of patients from all over the world with various forms of cancer.

 

So, improve quality of life in cancer patients with Mindfulness.

 

“mindfulness-based meditation can help ease the stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that often come along with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.” – BreastCancer,org

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Chang, Y.-Y., Wang, L.-Y., Liu, C.-Y., Chien, T.-J., Chen, I.-J., & Hsu, C.-H. (2018). The Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Program on Quality of Life in Cancer Outpatients: An Exploratory Study. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 17(2), 363–370. http://doi.org/10.1177/1534735417693359

 

Abstract

Objective. Numerous studies have investigated the efficacy of mindfulness meditation (MM) in managing quality of life (QoL) in cancer populations, yet only a few have studied the Asian population. The aim of this exploratory study is to evaluate the effect of a MM program on the QoL outcomes in Taiwanese cancer outpatients. Methods. Patients with various cancer diagnoses were enrolled and assigned to the MM group and usual care (UC) group. The meditation intervention consisted of 3 sessions held monthly. The outcomes of the whole intervention were measured using the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) instrument. Results. A total of 35 participants in the MM group and 34 in the UC group completed the study. The results showed that the postintervention scores were significantly higher than the preintervention scores in the MM group. In the UC group, there was no significant difference between preintervention and postintervention scores, except for the lower environment domain scores. There was no significant difference between the follow-up scores and postintervention scores in the MM group, indicating that improvement can be maintained for 3 months after completing the MM course. Conclusions. The present study provides preliminary outcomes of the effects on the QoL in Taiwanese cancer patients. The results suggest that MM may serve as an effective mind–body intervention for cancer patients to improve their QoL, and the benefits can persist over a 3-month follow-up period. This occurred in a diverse cancer population with various cancer diagnoses, strengthening the possibility of general use.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041936/

 

Improve Chronic Conditions with Mindfulness Taught over the Internet

Improve Chronic Conditions with Mindfulness Taught over the Internet

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“It’s important for people living with health conditions to recognize what they are feeling, instead of trying to push painful thoughts and emotions away, which can actually amplify them. For those living with serious medical conditions, mindfulness can help them accept and respond to difficult feelings, including fear, loneliness and sadness. By bringing mindfulness to emotions (and the thoughts that may underlie them), we can begin to see them more clearly and recognize that they are temporary.” – Shauna Shapiro

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a certified trained therapist. This results in costs that many clients can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with their busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. This makes delivery to individuals in remote locations nearly impossible.

 

As an alternative, applications over the internet and on smartphones have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations, and being available to patients in remote areas. But, the question arises as to the level of compliance with the training and the effectiveness of these internet applications in inducing mindfulness and improving physical and psychological health in chronically ill patients.

 

In today’s Research News article “Digital Characteristics and Dissemination Indicators to Optimize Delivery of Internet-Supported Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People With a Chronic Condition: Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107686/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6123540/  ), Russell and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effectiveness of internet based mindfulness training programs for the treatment of patients with chronic diseases. They identified 10 randomized controlled studies that contained a control group where mindfulness training was performed over the internet. The patients were afflicted with chronic pain in 3 of the studies, and in single studies with fibromyalgia, heart disease, cancer post-treatment, anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, residual depressive symptoms, and psychosis.

 

They found that internet-based mindfulness interventions in general had significant beneficial effects that improved patient functioning in comparison to the control groups. Half of the studies reported follow-up measurements that reflected persisting benefits. They noted that when measured participant adherence to the programs was in general low.

 

Hence, it appears that internet-based mindfulness interventions are safe and effective treatments for the well-being of patients with chronic diseases. This is potentially very important as these interventions can be administered inexpensively, conveniently, and to large numbers of patients regardless of their locations, greatly increasing the impact of the treatments.

 

There are some caveats. The majority of the participants by far were women and there was no study that compared the efficacy of the internet-based intervention to the comparable face-to-face intervention or another treatment. So, it was recommended that future studies include more males and a comparison to another treatment.

 

So, improve chronic conditions with mindfulness taught over the internet.

 

“MBSR programs might not reverse underlying chronic disease, but they can make it easier to cope with symptoms, improve overall well-being and quality of life and improve health outcomes.” – Monika Merkes

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Russell, L., Ugalde, A., Milne, D., Austin, D., & Livingston, P. M. (2018). Digital Characteristics and Dissemination Indicators to Optimize Delivery of Internet-Supported Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People With a Chronic Condition: Systematic Review. JMIR Mental Health, 5(3), e53. http://doi.org/10.2196/mental.9645

 

Abstract

Background

Internet-supported mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are increasingly being used to support people with a chronic condition. Characteristics of MBIs vary greatly in their mode of delivery, communication patterns, level of facilitator involvement, intervention period, and resource intensity, making it difficult to compare how individual digital features may optimize intervention adherence and outcomes.

Objective

The aims of this review were to (1) provide a description of digital characteristics of internet-supported MBIs and examine how these relate to evidence for efficacy and adherence to the intervention and (2) gain insights into the type of information available to inform translation of internet-supported MBIs to applied settings.

Methods

MEDLINE Complete, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases were searched for studies assessing an MBI delivered or accessed via the internet and engaging participants in daily mindfulness-based activities such as mindfulness meditations and informal mindfulness practices. Only studies using a comparison group of alternative interventions (active compactor), usual care, or wait-list were included. Given the broad definition of chronic conditions, specific conditions were not included in the original search to maximize results. The search resulted in 958 articles, from which 11 articles describing 10 interventions met the inclusion criteria.

Results

Internet-supported MBIs were more effective than usual care or wait-list groups, and self-guided interventions were as effective as facilitator-guided interventions. Findings were informed mainly by female participants. Adherence to interventions was inconsistently defined and prevented robust comparison between studies. Reporting of factors associated with intervention dissemination, such as population representativeness, program adoption and maintenance, and costs, was rare.

Conclusions

More comprehensive descriptions of digital characteristics need to be reported to further our understanding of features that may influence engagement and behavior change and to improve the reproducibility of MBIs. Gender differences in determinants and patterns of health behavior should be taken into account at the intervention design stage to accommodate male and female preferences. Future research could compare MBIs with established evidence-based therapies to identify the population groups that would benefit most from internet-supported programs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6123540/

 

Improve Cognition in Breast Cancer Patients with Meditation

Improve Cognition in Breast Cancer Patients with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Between diagnosis, treatment, recovery and ongoing treatment, living with cancer is a stressful roller-coaster set on repeat. Meditation is a very useful and powerful tool that can help you get in touch with your thoughts and emotions, cultivate compassion and find strength to keep going -maybe even to thrive.” -Jasmin Fiore Dodge

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Cognitive impairments are a frequent side effect of cancer treatment. This has been dubbed “chemo brain.” Patients often refer to it as a mental cloudiness.

 

The patients report problems including forgetting things, trouble concentrating, trouble remembering details like names and dates, trouble multi-tasking, like answering the phone while cooking, taking longer to finish things, disorganized and slower thinking, and trouble remembering common words. These cognitive impairments generally produce problems with work and even social relationships such that patients tend to isolate themselves. They can also produce treatment problems as the patients often forget to take their medications.

 

These problems result from the fact that chemotherapy, radiation therapy and many cancer drugs directly affect the nervous system. At present, there are no known treatments for these cognitive impairment side effects of chemotherapy. Contemplative practices have been shown to affect memory and have positive effects on cancer treatment and recovery.  There is some evidence that contemplative practices may be useful for the alleviation of “chemo brain” symptoms. So, it makes sense to further study the ability of mindfulness training to improve the cancer patient’s cognitive abilities.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tibetan sound meditation for cognitive dysfunction: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6083855/ ), Milbury and colleagues recruited women who had breast cancer and had completed chemotherapy at least 6 months ago. They were randomly assigned to receive either Tibetan Sound Meditation or were assigned to a wait-list control condition. Tibetan Sound Meditation was practiced in twice weekly, 1-hour sessions, for 6 weeks. It included focused meditation, mindfulness development, breathing exercises, and cognitive tasks. The participants were measured before training and one month after the completion of the program for cognitive performance, perceived cognitive function, depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, health related quality of life, and spiritual well-being.

 

They found that after training the women receiving meditation training had significant albeit small improvements in cognitive function including verbal memory, short-term memory, processing speed and significant decreases in perceived cognitive function. Hence the women following meditation treatment had improve objective and subjective cognitive abilities. In addition, the treated women had significantly higher levels of overall mental health and spiritual well-being and lower levels of depression.

 

This was a relatively small pilot study, so it was surprising and encouraging to discover significant improvements. Tibetan Sound Meditation is a complex practice consisting of a number of different practices. It would be interesting to begin to determine which components or combination of components were responsible for the benefits. It would also be interesting to compare the effectiveness of Tibetan Sound Meditation to other forms of meditation practice such as open monitoring meditation or loving kindness meditation.

 

It should be noted that the control condition received no activities other than treatment as usual. So, the results may have been affected by participant and experimenter bias and expectancy effects. It would be better in future studies to use an active control condition such as light exercise of health education. Nevertheless, the results suggest that training in Tibetan Sound Meditation improves the thinking ability and spiritual and mental health of women who completed chemotherapy for breast cancer.

 

So, improve cognition in breast cancer patients with meditation.

 

“Enduring treatment is not only unpleasant, but time-consuming and expensive. Meditation is one method that can be extremely beneficial throughout the healing process. Like many illnesses, breast cancer can be worsened by stress. Meditation can help you reduce stress levels throughout the day.” – Laura Sage

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Milbury, K., Chaoul, A., Biegler, K., Wangyal, T., Spelman, A., Meyers, C. A., … Cohen, L. (2013). Tibetan sound meditation for cognitive dysfunction: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial. Psycho-Oncology, 22(10), 2354–2363. http://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3296

 

Abstract

Objective

Although chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment is common among breast cancer patients, evidence for effective interventions addressing cognitive deficits is limited. This randomized controlled trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a Tibetan Sound Meditation (TSM) program to improve cognitive function and quality of life in breast cancer patients.

Methods

Forty-seven breast cancer patients (mean age 56.3 years), who were staged I–III at diagnosis, 6–60 months post-chemotherapy, and reported cognitive impairment at study entry were recruited. Participants were randomized to either two weekly TSM sessions for 6 weeks or a wait list control group. Neuropsychological assessments were completed at baseline and 1 month post-treatment. Self-report measures of cognitive function (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-Cog), quality of life (SF-36), depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), sleep disturbance (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), fatigue (Brief Fatigue Inventory), and spirituality (FACT-Sp) were completed at baseline, the end of treatment, and 1 month later.

Results

Relative to the control group, women in the TSM group performed better on the verbal memory test (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test trial 1) (p = 0.06) and the short-term memory and processing speed task (Digit Symbol) (p = 0.09) and reported improved cognitive function (p = 0.06), cognitive abilities (p = 0.08), mental health (p = 0.04), and spirituality (p = 0.05) at the end of treatment but not 1 month later.

Conclusions

This randomized controlled trial revealed that TSM program appears to be a feasible and acceptable intervention and may be associated with short-term improvements in objective and subjective cognitive function as well as mental health and spirituality in breast cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6083855/

 

Improve Inflammatory Responses in Breast Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

Improve Inflammatory Responses in Breast Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Several studies have documented the value of meditation in managing both psychological and physical symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments. But it is important for patients considering meditation to note that regular, ongoing practice is essential for sustained benefits.” – Shelly Latte-Naor

 

About 12.5% of women in the U.S. develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetimes and every year about 40,000 women die. Indeed, more women in the U.S. die from breast cancer than from any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Breast cancer diagnosis, however, is not always a death sentence. Death rates have been decreasing for decades from improved detection and treatment of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates are now at around 95%. The improved survival rates mean that more women are now living with cancer.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery and breast cancer recovery. Mindfulness helps to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. One important benefit of mindfulness practices appears to be a strengthening of the immune system, the body’s primary defense against disease. The immune system is designed to protect the body from threats like stress, infection, injury, and toxic chemicals. One of its tools is the Inflammatory response. This response works to fight off infections and injuries. Unfortunately, breast cancer treatment tend to suppress the inflammatory response making the women more susceptible to infection. Mindfulness training have been shown to adaptively alter the inflammatory response.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR[BC]) on Levels of Inflammatory Biomarkers Among Recovering Breast Cancer Survivors.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5942506/ ), Reich and colleagues recruited adult survivors of breast cancer who had completed treatment. They were randomly assigned to receive either a 6-week program of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) modified for breast cancer survivors or to usual care. The MBSR program consists of 6 weekly 2-hour sessions involving meditation, yoga, body scan, and discussion and encouraged daily practice for 15-45 minutes. Blood was drawn before and after treatment and 6 weeks later and assayed for cytokines; IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNFα, and TGF-β1.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and to the usual care group, participation in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program produced significant increases in the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα. Hence, mindfulness training alters the activity of the inflammatory systems, increasing the inflammatory response. This is important as breast cancer treatment tends to decrease the activity of the inflammatory system and this results in increases in susceptibility to infection. By increasing the activity of the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and TNFα, MBSR training tends to produce a normalization of their levels. This would tend to make these women better able to fight off infection and better recover from their treatment.

 

This normalization of the proinflammatory response produced by MBSR practice may be the underlying mechanism by which mindfulness practice helps with general cancer recovery and breast cancer recovery.

 

So, improve inflammatory responses in breast cancer survivors with mindfulness.

 

“A growing body of research points to direct benefits related to meditation practices. These benefits extend to cancer patients. .  .  . As a result, a number of cancer centers now offer programs that include types of meditation and mindfulness practices,”

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Reich, R. R., Lengacher, C. A., Klein, T. W., Newton, C., Shivers, S., Ramesar, S., … Kip, K. E. (2017). A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR[BC]) on Levels of Inflammatory Biomarkers Among Recovering Breast Cancer Survivors. Biological Research for Nursing, 19(4), 456–464. http://doi.org/10.1177/1099800417707268

 

Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this substudy of a large randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the efficacy of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (Breast Cancer) (MBSR[BC]) program compared to usual care (UC) in normalizing blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines among breast cancer survivors (BCS).

Method:

A total of 322 BCS were randomized to either a 6-week MBSR(BC) program or a UC. At baseline and 6 and 12 weeks, 10 ml of venous blood and demographic and clinical data were collected and/or updated. Plasma cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] α, transforming growth factor [TGF] β1, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor [sTNFR] 1) were assayed. Linear mixed models were used to assess cytokine levels across three time points (baseline and 6 and 12 weeks) by group (MBSR[BC] vs. UC).

Results:

Of the six measured cytokines, three were nondetectable at rates greater than 50% (IL-10, IL-1β, TGF-β1) and, because of overall low prevalence, were not analyzed further. For the remaining cytokines (TNFα, IL-6, sTNFR1), results showed that TNFα and IL-6 increased during the follow-up period (between 6 and 12 weeks) rather than during the MBSR(BC) training period (between baseline and 6 weeks), while sTNFR1 levels did not change significantly across the 12-week period.

Conclusions:

Study results suggest that MBSR(BC) affects cytokine levels in BCS, mainly with increases in TNFα and IL-6. The data further suggest that B-cell modulation may be a part of immune recovery during breast cancer management and that increases in TNFα and IL-6 may be markers for MBSR(BC)-related recovery.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5942506/

 

Treat Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors with Tai Chi

Treat Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Breast cancer survivors often don’t just come to physicians with insomnia. They have insomnia, fatigue and depression. And this intervention, tai chi, impacted all those outcomes in a similar way, with benefits that were as robust as the gold standard treatment for insomnia.” – Leigh Hopper

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Insomnia is a common occurrence in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Tai Chi or Qigong practice has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce fatiguelower blood pressure and cortisol levelsimprove balance and reduce the likelihood of falls. Mindfulness-based practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality. Tai Chi practice has also been shown to improve sleep. It is not known, however, how effective Tai Chi practice is relative to other know insomnia treatments.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi Chih Compared with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Insomnia in Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Randomized, Partially Blinded, Noninferiority Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549450/ ), Irwin and colleagues recruited women who had survived breast cancer and who were diagnosed with insomnia. They were randomly assigned to receive a 3-month program of either Tai Chi or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Both treatments were delivered in groups of 7 to 10 participants in weekly 120-minute sessions. CBT-I contained cognitive therapy, stimulus control, sleep restriction, sleep hygiene, and relaxation. Tai Chi consisted of mindful performance of repetitious, nonstrenuous, slow-paced movement. Participants were measured during baseline, at the end of the treatment period and three months and one year later, for insomnia severity, insomnia remission, sleep quality, sleep diary records, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, depression, body size, and physical activity.

 

They found that both groups showed equivalent and significant improvement in insomnia severity, insomnia remission, sleep quality, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and depression at posttreatment and 3 and 12 months later. Hence, both Tai Chi practice and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) were effective in treating insomnia in breast cancer survivors with insomnia.

 

It is remarkable that Tai Chi practice is just as effective as a psychotherapy that was designed specifically to treat insomnia and which is considered the gold standard of insomnia treatments. Tai Chi practice, though, has marked advantages over CBT-I. Tai Chi is gentle and safe, is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion, is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an almost ideal gentle exercise to releive insomnia is breast cancer survivors.

 

So, treat insomnia in breast cancer survivors with Tai Chi

 

given that standardized TCC is both scalable and community accessible compare with the limited availability of CBT in most medical centers, immediate access to TCC would address the need to reduce the morbidity associated with insomnia in survivors of breast and other cancers.” – Irwin et al. 2017

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Irwin, M. R., Olmstead, R., Carrillo, C., Sadeghi, N., Nicassio, P., Ganz, P. A., & Bower, J. E. (2017). Tai Chi Chih Compared With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Insomnia in Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Randomized, Partially Blinded, Noninferiority Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 35(23), 2656–2665. http://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.71.0285

 

Abstract

Purpose

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and Tai Chi Chih (TCC), a movement meditation, improve insomnia symptoms. Here, we evaluated whether TCC is noninferior to CBT-I for the treatment of insomnia in survivors of breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

This was a randomized, partially blinded, noninferiority trial that involved survivors of breast cancer with insomnia who were recruited from the Los Angeles community from April 2008 to July 2012. After a 2-month phase-in period with repeated baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to 3 months of CBT-I or TCC and evaluated at months 2, 3 (post-treatment), 6, and 15 (follow-up). Primary outcome was insomnia treatment response—that is, marked clinical improvement of symptoms by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index—at 15 months. Secondary outcomes were clinician-assessed remission of insomnia; sleep quality; total sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and awake after sleep onset, derived from sleep diaries; polysomnography; and symptoms of fatigue, sleepiness, and depression.

Results

Of 145 participants who were screened, 90 were randomly assigned (CBT-I: n = 45; TCC: n = 45). The proportion of participants who showed insomnia treatment response at 15 months was 43.7% and 46.7% in CBT-I and TCC, respectively. Tests of noninferiority showed that TCC was noninferior to CBT-I at 15 months (P = .02) and at months 3 (P = .02) and 6 (P < .01). For secondary outcomes, insomnia remission was 46.2% and 37.9% in CBT-I and TCC, respectively. CBT-I and TCC groups showed robust improvements in sleep quality, sleep diary measures, and related symptoms (all P < .01), but not polysomnography, with similar improvements in both groups.

Conclusion

CBT-I and TCC produce clinically meaningful improvements in insomnia. TCC, a mindful movement meditation, was found to be statistically noninferior to CBT-I, the gold standard for behavioral treatment of insomnia.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549450/

Relieve the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment with Yoga

Relieve the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Cancer patients who practice yoga as therapy during their treatment often refer to their yoga practice as a life-saver. The healing power of yoga helps both cancer patients and cancer survivors. No matter how sick from treatments and no matter how little energy, many find that the one thing that would bring relief were a gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses geared for cancer patients.” – Yoga U

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Yoga practice is a form of mindfulness training that has been shown to be beneficial for cancer patients.  In today’s Research News article “Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5901971/ ), Lin and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effectiveness of yoga practice for the relief of the problematic effects of cancer treatments.

 

They review 24 published clinical trials. Based upon this literature, they conclude that yoga practice helps relieve the sleep disturbance that occurs in the majority of cancer patients. They also report that gentle yoga practice, such as Hatha yoga, helps relieve the physical fatigue and cognitive impairments (known as “chemobrain”) that occurs in the most cancer patients. Gentle yoga practice also appears to help relieve the psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and mood disorders that are almost universal symptoms of cancer diagnosis. Finally, they report that gentle yoga practice helps relieve the musculoskeletal pain, muscle aches, and total physical discomfort that can accompany cancer treatment.

 

These findings suggest that yoga practice has a wide array of positive physical, psychological, and emotional benefits for cancer patients. They suggest that gentle forms of yoga are probably best. This would make sense given the compromised physical conditions of most yoga patients. The exact mechanisms by which yoga practice produces these benefits has not been adequately researched and identified. But, yoga appears to improve responses to stress, the immune response, and the cardiovascular system which may be responsible. Regardless, yoga practice should be recommended to help relieve the suffering and promote recovery of patients with cancer.

 

So, relieve the side effects of cancer treatment with yoga

 

“As with many types of complementary therapy one of the main reasons that people with cancer use yoga is because it makes them feel good. .  .  . Generally, it can help to lift your mood and enhance well being. Some people with cancer say it helps calm their mind so that they can cope better with their cancer and its treatment. Others say it helps to reduce symptoms and side effects such as pain, tiredness, sleep problems and depression.” – Cancer Research UK

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lin, P.-J., Peppone, L. J., Janelsins, M. C., Mohile, S. G., Kamen, C. S., Kleckner, I. R., … Mustian, K. M. (2018). Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities. Current Oncology Reports, 20(1), 5. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11912-018-0657-2

 

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To (1) explain what yoga is, (2) summarize published literature on the efficacy of yoga for managing cancer treatment-related toxicities, (3) provide clinical recommendations on the use of yoga for oncology professionals, and (4) suggest promising areas for future research.

Recent Findings

Based on a total of 24 phase II and one phase III clinical trials, low-intensity forms of yoga, specifically gentle hatha and restorative, are feasible, safe, and effective for treating sleep disruption, cancer-related fatigue, cognitive impairment, psychosocial distress, and musculoskeletal symptoms in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation and cancer survivors.

Summary

Clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for their patients suffering with these toxicities by referring them to qualified yoga professionals. More definitive phase III clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate other types, doses, and delivery modes of yoga for treating cancer-related toxicities in patients and survivors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5901971/

 

Improve Balance in Breast Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

Improve Balance in Breast Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“In terms of qigong influence on my cancer, a bone density scan carried some months ago has shown that, not only have I not lost further bone material, but, bone density has improved and there is growth of new material. I attribute this to my qigong practice since this is beyond the power of medication to effect this kind of outcome.” – Jean Caron

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Cancer and its treatment often results in bone loss making the individual more vulnerable to fractures especially after falls.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Tai Chi or Qigong practice has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, improve balance and reduce the likelihood of falls. It is not known, however, if Qigong practice can help to strengthen bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures.

 

In today’s Research News article “Bone Mineral Density, Balance Performance, Balance Self-Efficacy, and Falls in Breast Cancer Survivors With and Without Qigong Training: An Observational Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950950/ ), Fong and colleagues recruited breast cancer survivors who had undergone standard treatments and separated them into two groups; those who performed Qigong practice for at least 3 months and those who did not practice. They also recruited a healthy control group that did not engage in Qigong practice. The participants were measured for whole body, hip, and arm bone density, balance, history of falls and fear of falling.

 

They found that the Breast cancer group that performed Qigong practice had significantly better balance and lower fear of falling than those who did not practice. In fact, those who practiced were equivalent to healthy controls in balance and fear of falling. It was those who didn’t practice who were deficient. They did not find differences between the groups in bone density. So, although Qigong practice did not appear to strengthen bones in breast cancer survivors, it did appear to improve balance and reduce their fear of falling making fractures less likely.

 

Falls and the resultant bone fractures are a significant threat not only to the quality of life of breast cancer survivors but also to their longevity. Hence, the benefits of improvements in balance for these patients should not be underappreciated. They could well lead to longer and better lives.

 

So, improve balance in breast cancer patients with qigong practice.

 

“Tai Chi may lead to better physical balance and stronger circulation of blood and energy. Tai Chi is a complimentary method for both preparing and recovering from surgery. Practicing with a positive, motivated group of people who are interested in empowering themselves with mind/body tools is a great support group for people who like to take an active role in their journey to better health.” – Cancer Wellness TV

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shirley S. M. Fong, Anna W. M. Choi, W. S. Luk, Timothy T. T. Yam, Joyce C. Y. Leung, Joanne W. Y. Chung. Bone Mineral Density, Balance Performance, Balance Self-Efficacy, and Falls in Breast Cancer Survivors With and Without Qigong Training: An Observational Study. Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Mar; 17(1): 124–130. Published online 2017 Jan 4. doi: 10.1177/1534735416686687

 

Abstract

Purpose: A deterioration in bone strength and balance performance after breast cancer treatment can result in injurious falls. Therefore, interventions need to be developed to improve the bone strength and balance ability of breast cancer survivors. This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to compare the bone mineral density (BMD), balance performance, balance self-efficacy, and number of falls between breast cancer survivors who practiced qigong, breast cancer survivors who did not practice qigong, and healthy individuals. Methods: The study included 40 breast cancer survivors with more than 3 months of qigong experience, 17 breast cancer survivors with no qigong experience, and 36 healthy controls. All the participants underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans to measure their lumbar spine, total hip, femoral neck, and total radius BMDs. The participants also underwent a timed one-leg stand test to measure their single-leg standing balance. The participants’ balance self-efficacy was assessed using the activities-specific balance confidence scale, and the number of falls experienced by each participant was assessed in a face-to-face interview. Results: The lumbar spine, total hip, femoral neck, and total radius BMDs were similar between the 3 groups (P > .05). The breast cancer-qigong group outperformed the breast cancer-control group by 27.3% when they performed the one-leg stand test on a foam surface (P = .025), and they also had a higher balance self-efficacy score (P = .006). Nevertheless, the numbers of falls were comparable between the 3 groups (P > .05). Conclusion: Qigong may be a suitable exercise for improving the balance performance and balance self-efficacy of breast cancer survivors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950950/

Manage Stress in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Manage Stress in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For many people who have been diagnosed with cancer — or have been diagnosed with advanced cancer and are facing end-of-life issues — their mind is so full of worries about the future… that they can’t fully be aware and enjoy the time they have now. Emotional distress, in turn, can have a significant impact on the course of the illness. Depression has been shown to hasten decline in cancer patients, and also to increase the risk of death. By reducing stress and negative emotions, mindfulness programs could potentially play an important role in the treatment process. [Cancer] is very demanding on the body and the mind, so the aim of this program is to help people learn ways to focus and calm their mind, and live more fully in the present moment so they can better manage difficult thoughts and difficult feelings,” – Joanna Bell

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue and insomnia. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day. It is estimated that nearly a third of breast cancer survivors have major disturbances of sleep that adds to the stress and damages recovery.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Cancer Care: A Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871193/ ), Rush and Sharma review and summarize the findings of the published research on the effectiveness of one particular frequently used mindfulness training technique,  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in reducing stress in cancer patients. MBSR is generally a 8-week program including meditation, yoga, and body scan, combined with home practice.

 

They identified 13 published research studies, 8 of which involved breast cancer. They found that the studies indicate that MBSR is effective in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to the stress of cancer and its treatment. Since, this stress produced can interfere with the patients ability of withstand treatment and its’ psychological consequences, reducing stress responding may be greatly beneficial to the patients’ health and well-being. Hence, the published literature supports the use of MBSR training for patients diagnosed with cancer, improving their physiological and psychological responses to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This can improve quality of life with cancer and hopefully lead to improved health and survival.

 

So, manage stress in cancer patients with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

 

“Women who had the most stress before the study started benefited the most from the Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction for Breast Cancer program. The results of this study echo results from other small studies showing that mindfulness-based meditation can help ease the stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that often come along with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.” – BreastCancer.org

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Rush, S. E., & Sharma, M. (2017). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Cancer Care: A Systematic Review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 22(2), 348–360. http://doi.org/10.1177/2156587216661467

 

Abstract

Cancer is acknowledged as a source of stress for many individuals, often leading to suffering, which can be long-lasting. Mindfulness-based stress reduction offers an effective way of reducing stress among cancer patients by combining mindfulness meditation and yoga in an 8-week training program. The purpose of this study was to inspect studies from October 2009 to November 2015 and examine whether mindfulness-based stress reduction can be utilized as a viable method for managing stress among cancer patients. A systematic search from Medline, CINAHL, and Alt HealthWatch databases was conducted for quantitative articles involving mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions targeting cancer patients. A total of 13 articles met the inclusion criteria. Of these 13 studies, 9 demonstrated positive changes in either psychological or physiological outcomes related to anxiety and/or stress, with 4 describing mixed results. Despite the limitations, mindfulness-based stress reduction appears to be promising for stress management among cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871193/

Improve Psychological and Physical Health During Cancer Treatment with Yoga

Improve Psychological and Physical Health During Cancer Treatment with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga for cancer patients—what better way to manage anxiety, gain strength, increase flexibility, and create feelings of well-being! A growing body of research points to the potential of yoga for supporting cancer patients, both during and after treatment.” – Tari Prinster

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Yoga practice is a form of mindfulness training that has been shown to be beneficial for cancer patients. In today’s Research News article “Review of Yoga Therapy During Cancer Treatment.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777241/ ), Danhauer and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies on the application of yoga practice to the treatment of cancer patients undergoing treatment. They identified 12 non-randomized and 13 randomized published clinical trials.

 

They found that the research reports that yoga practice improves the psychological and physical health of cancer patients undergoing treatment. These include psychological improvements in anxiety, depression, mood, negative affect, relaxation, overall mental health, cognition, spiritual well-being, social support, self-efficacy, and coping, and physical improvements in overall health, physical quality of life, fatigue, invigoration, sleep, most-bothersome symptom, and upregulation of genes involved in immunity.

 

These are impressive results that strongly suggest that yoga practice is of great benefit to cancer patients undergoing treatment. It appears to be safe, with few if any negative side effects, be acceptable for patients undergoing treatment, and to improve the patients’ mental and physical health.

 

Yoga practice is generally complex, involving a number of components including, postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and chanting. It is unclear from the research which ones or which combinations of these components are responsible for the benefits. It remains for future research to better clarify how yoga functions to produce these remarkable benefits for cancer patients. Such a clarification could lead to improved and more targeted practices.

 

So, improve psychological and physical health during cancer treatment with yoga.

 

“Cancer patients who practice yoga as therapy during their treatment often refer to their yoga practice as a life-saver. The healing power of yoga helps both cancer patients and cancer survivors. No matter how sick from treatments and no matter how little energy, many find that the one thing that would bring relief were a gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses geared for cancer patients.” – Yoga U

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Danhauer, S. C., Addington, E. L., Sohl, S. J., Chaoul, A., & Cohen, L. (2017). Review of Yoga Therapy During Cancer Treatment. Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 25(4), 1357–1372. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-016-3556-9

 

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews of yoga research that distinguish results of trials conducted during (versus after) cancer treatment are needed to guide future research and clinical practice. We therefore conducted a review of non-randomized studies and randomized controlled trials of yoga interventions for children and adults undergoing treatment for any cancer type.

Methods

Studies were identified via research databases and reference lists. Inclusion criteria: (1) children or adults undergoing cancer treatment; (2) intervention stated as yoga or component of yoga; and (3) publication in English in peer-reviewed journals through October 2015. Exclusion criteria: (1) samples receiving hormone therapy only; (2) interventions involving only meditation; and (3) yoga delivered within broader cancer recovery or mindfulness-based stress reduction programs.

Results

Results of non-randomized (adult: n=8, pediatric: n=4) and randomized controlled trials (adult: n=13, pediatric: n=0) conducted during cancer treatment are summarized separately by age group. Findings most consistently support improvement in psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, distress, anxiety). Several studies also found that yoga enhanced quality of life, though further investigation is needed to clarify domain-specific efficacy (e.g., physical, social, cancer-specific). Regarding physical and biomedical outcomes, evidence increasingly suggests that yoga ameliorates sleep and fatigue; additional research is needed to advance preliminary findings for other treatment sequelae and stress/immunity biomarkers.

Conclusions

Among adults undergoing cancer treatment, evidence supports recommending yoga for improving psychological outcomes, with potential for also improving physical symptoms. Evidence is insufficient to evaluate the efficacy of yoga in pediatric oncology. We describe suggestions for strengthening yoga research methodology to inform clinical practice guidelines.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777241/

 

Improve Sleep in Breast Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Sleep in Breast Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“That MBSR [mindfulness-based stress reduction] can produce similar improvements to CBT-I [cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia] and that both groups can effectively reduce stress and mood disturbance expands the available treatment options for insomnia in cancer patients,” – Sheila Garland

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue and insomnia. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day. It is estimated that nearly a third of breast cancer survivors have major disturbances of sleep that adds to the stress and damages recovery.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Mindfulness, and Yoga in Patients with Breast Cancer with Sleep Disturbance: A Literature Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802619/ ), Zeichner and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the application of mindfulness training, yoga, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) for the treatment of sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients.

 

They report that the research demonstrates that all three approaches are effective in reducing sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients with efficacies equivalent to those of drug treatments but with fewer adverse side effects. They report that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) has been more consistently shown to be effective than mindfulness training or yoga practice. But CBT-I has greater problems with long-term patient compliance, greater costs, and a relative lack of service providers. Mindfulness training particularly Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs and yoga practice are effective in relieving insomnia and are lower cost, higher compliance, and more available options.

 

So, improve sleep in breast cancer patients with mindfulness.

 

“Studies have shown mindfulness-based stress reduction can be effective in alleviating anxiety and depression, decreasing long-term emotional and physical side effects of treatments and improving the quality of sleep in breast cancer patients. Scientists caution, however that sustained benefit requires ongoing mindfulness practice.” – Breast Cancer Research Foundation

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Simon B Zeichner, Rachel L Zeichner, Keerthi Gogineni, Sharon Shatil, Octavian Ioachimescu. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Mindfulness, and Yoga in Patients With Breast Cancer with Sleep Disturbance: A Literature Review. Breast Cancer (Auckl) 2017; 11: 1178223417745564. Published online 2017 Dec 7. doi: 10.1177/1178223417745564

 

Abstract

The number of patients with breast cancer diagnosed with sleep disturbance has grown substantially within the United States over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, there have been significant improvements in the psychological treatment of sleep disturbance in patients with breast cancer. More specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), mindfulness, and yoga have shown to be 3 promising treatments with varying degrees of benefit, supporting data, and inherent limitations. In this article, we will outline the treatment approach for sleep disturbance in patients with breast cancer and conduct a comprehensive review of CBT-I, mindfulness, and yoga as they pertain to this patient population.

Conclusions

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and sleep disturbance is one of the most common complaints among women with this diagnosis. Interventions to improve sleep could improve QOL and productivity and could reduce comorbidities and decrease use of health care resources. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, mindfulness, and yoga are 3 behavioral health interventions that have been recommended in the treatment of sleep disturbance in patients with cancer. Depending on cancer disease severity, nonpharmacologic approaches may be more beneficial because efficacy appears to be similar to pharmacological approaches, patients can continue to implement behavioral strategies long after active treatment has ended, and there are fewer adverse effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802619/