Reduction in cancer-related pain catastrophizing

Tacon, A. M. (2011). Mindfulness, cancer, and pain. Alternative Medicine Studies, 1 (1), e15-e15. Full article.

Abstract: Pain is the most distressing and incapacitating symptom experienced by cancer patients. While mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) interventions have been conducted with cancer patients, no study has explored psychological and pain-related factors in patients with cancer-related pain.

The effects of an eight-week MBSR intervention were investigated on pre-post scores for pain catastrophizing, pain-related anxiety, pain intensity ratings, and mental adjustment to cancer in breast cancer patients with pain. Forty-one women diagnosed with cancer-related pain participated in the study. The MBSR was conducted for 1.5 hours/week for eight-weeks; participants were trained in the body scan, sitting meditation, and hatha yoga.

Results showed significant reduction in scores for pain catastrophizing, pain anxiety, and pain ratings; also significant positive changes occurred for mental adjustment to cancer. This study is the first to investigate MBSR effects for psychological factors in patients with cancer pain. Much more research is needed in this area.


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