For women with cancer recurrence

Thornton, L. M., et al. (2014). Test of Mindfulness and Hope Components in a Psychological Intervention for Women With Cancer Recurrence. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology. Epubl ahead of publication.

From the Abstract. Psychological interventions can attenuate distress and enhance coping for those with an initial diagnosis of cancer, but there are few intervention options for individuals with cancer recurrence. To address this gap, we developed and tested a novel treatment combining Mindfulness, Hope Therapy, and bio-behavioral components.

Method: An uncontrolled, repeated measures design was used. Women (N = 32) with recurrent breast or gynecologic cancers were provided 20 treatment sessions in individual (n = 12) or group (n = 20) formats. On average, participants were middle aged (M = 58) and Caucasian (81%). Session-by-session therapy process (positive and negative affect, quality-of-life) and mechanism (use of intervention-specific skills) measures were also included.

Results: Distress, anxiety, and negative affect decreased, whereas positive affect and mental-health-related quality-of-life increased over the course of treatment, as demonstrated in mixed-effects models with the intent-to-treat sample. Both hope and mindfulness increased, and use of mindfulness skills was related to decreased anxiety.

Conclusions: The trial serves as preliminary evidence for a multi-component intervention tailored to treat difficulties specific to recurrent cancer. The blending of the components was novel as well as theoretically and practically consistent.

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