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Comparing Two Mind-Body Techniques for Help with Sleep for Cancer Survivors

05 May

Researchers from the Utah Center for Exploring Mind-Body Interactions at the University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City conducted a randomized, controlled trial to see whether two mind-body interventions – Mind-Body Bridging (MBB) and Mindfulness Meditation (MM) could improve sleep disturbances and other symptoms in posttreatment cancer survivors, as compared to sleep hygiene education (SHE) as an active control.

Fifty-seven cancer survivors with clinically significant self-reported sleep disturbance were randomly assigned to receive MBB, MM, or SHE. All interventions were conducted in three sessions, once per week. Patient-reported outcomes were assessed via the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale and other indicators of psychosocial functioning relevant to quality of life, stress, depression, mindfulness, self-compassion, and well-being.

Mixed effects model analysis revealed that mean sleep disturbance symptoms in the MBB (p = .0029) and MM (p = .0499) groups were lower than in the SHE group, indicating that both mind-body interventions improved sleep.
 
In addition, compared with the SHE group, the MBB group showed reductions in self-reported depression symptoms (p = .040) and improvements in overall levels of mindfulness (p = .018), self-compassion (p = .028), and well-being (p = .019) at postintervention.

This study provides preliminary evidence that brief sleep-focused MBB and MM are promising interventions for sleep disturbance in cancer survivors. Integrating MBB or MM into posttreatment supportive plans should enhance care of cancer survivors with sleep disturbance.

Because MBB produced additional secondary benefits, MBB may serve as a promising multipurpose intervention for posttreatment cancer survivors suffering from sleep disturbance and other comorbid symptoms.

Citation:  Nakamura Y1, Lipschitz DL, Kuhn R, Kinney AY, Donaldson GW. Investigating efficacy of two brief mind-body intervention programs for managing sleep disturbance in cancer survivors: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice. 2013 Jun;7 (2):pages 165-82. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award