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MBSR Helps with Mental Health of Cancer Patients

19 Jul

Researchers from The University of Tokyo in Japan conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the mental and physical health status of patients with various types of cancer.
Ten studies (randomized-controlled trials and observational studies) were determined to be eligible for meta-analysis.  Study results were categorized into mental and physical variables and Cohen's effect size d was computed for each category.

The investigators found that MBSR may indeed be helpful for the mental health of cancer patients (Cohen's effect size d=0.48); however, more research would be needed to show convincing evidence of the effects on physical health (Cohen's effect size d=0.18). They conclude that the results suggest that MBSR may improve cancer patients' psychosocial adjustment to their disease.

Citation: Ledesma D, Kumano H. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis Psychooncology. 2009 Jun;18 (6): pages 571-9

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