Mindfulness-based therapy may help ease anxiety and depression in some cancer patients, a small research review suggests.
Advances in medicine have transformed cancer from what was once a death sentence to what is now a chronic disease for many patients. With more cancer patients surviving longer, more attention is being paid to the physical and mental health problems that can linger even after patients have been declared “all clear”.
Even cancer patients who have a good prognosis, may have fears that the treatment will fail. And this can lead to depression and anxiety.
Most of the studies involved women with breast cancer. The people in the studies were typically around 50 years old and there were few differences in education, marital status or employment status.
Researchers analyzed data from seven previously published studies that included 469 cancer patients who received this type of therapy and 419 who didn’t When the researchers pooled the data from all the studies, mindfulness-based therapy was linked to a 25% greater decline in anxiety and a 10% bigger decline in symptoms of depression, compared to usual care, Mei-Fen Zhang of Sun Yat-Sen University in China and colleagues report in the November issue of the journal Medicine.
Read the original abstract in Medicine.