Comparison of the acceptability and benefits of two mindfulness-based interventions in women with breast or gynecologic cancer: a pilot study.Support Care Cancer 2015; 23(4):1063-71SC
The aim of this study was to compare the relative benefits and acceptability of two different group-based mindfulness psychotherapy interventions among women with breast and gynecologic cancer.
Data from 42 women who completed an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program comprising 22 contact hours were compared to data from 24 women who completed a 6-week mindfulness meditation program (MMP) comprising 9 contact hours. Distress, quality of life (QOL), and mindfulness were evaluated pre- (T1) and post-intervention (T2). ANCOVA was used to analyse the relationship between intervention type and T1 score on outcome variable change scores. Participants' perceptions of benefit and acceptability were assessed.
The participants did not differ on clinical or demographic variables other than MBCT participants were more likely than MMP participants to have a past history of anxiety or depression (p = .01). Scores on distress, QOL, and mindfulness improved from T1 to T2 with medium to large effect sizes for the MMP (p=.002, d=.7; p=.001, d=.8; p=.005, d=.6, respectively) and MBCT (p<.001,d = .6; p=.008, d = .4; p<.001, d=.9, respectively) interventions. [correted]. ANCOVA showed no main effect for intervention type on outcome change scores and no interaction between intervention type and respective T1 score. Distress and mindfulness scores at T1 had a main effect on respective change scores (p = .02, ηp (2) = .87; p = .01, ηp (2) = .80, respectively). Both programs were perceived as beneficial and acceptable with no differences between the intervention types.
Within the limits of a small, non-randomized study, these findings provide preliminary support for the utility of a brief mindfulness intervention for improving distress and QOL in a heterogeneous group of women with cancer. Abbreviated interventions are less resource intensive and may be attractive to very unwell patients.