Piet, J., Würtzen, H., & Zachariae, R. (2012). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on symptoms of anxiety and depression in adult cancer patients and survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 1007–1020.doi: 10.1037/a0028329
To evaluate current evidence regarding the effect of mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) on symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer
Multiple phases of care
Among nonrandomized studies, overall effect size for anxiety was 0.60 (Hedges’s g, p < 0.001) and 0.42 (p < 0.001) for depression. Among randomized controlled trials, effect size for anxiety was 0.37 and 0.44 (p < 0.001) for depression. Most studies used the Profile of Mood States scale or the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The range of Jadad quality scores was 0–4, with only six studies having scores greater than 2. This score indicates low quality. Heterogeneity among studies was moderate.
Findings demonstrate a low to moderately significant effect of MBT in reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression among patients with cancer. Heterogeneity among studies suggests that findings be viewed with caution.
MBT may benefit patients with cancer by reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression. The use of MBT appears to be feasible in cancer care. The low quality of studies in this analysis points to the need for well-designed research on the effects of MBT.