Sharplin, G.R., Jones, S.B., Hancock, B., Knott, V.E., Bowden, J.A., & Whitford, H.S. (2010). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: An efficacious community-based group intervention for depression and anxiety in a sample of cancer patients. Medical Journal of Australia, 193(5 Suppl.), S79–82.doi: PMid:21542452
To assess the impact of an eight-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy program on individuals experiencing distress as a consequence of cancer
Participants included people with a history of cancer and those the study defined as carers. Participants were people who called the Cancer Council South Australia Helpline. They were assessed for anxiety and depression before and after a course of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). The MBCT program consisted of eight weekly two-hour sessions facilitated by an experienced counselor. The program sessions included these topics: stepping out of automatic pilot; dealing with barriers; mindfulness of one’s breath; staying present; acceptance; holding, allowing, letting be; thoughts are not facts; how to best take care of oneself; and using learned skills to control future mood. An optional three-hour follow-up session occurred six weeks after program completion, to reinforce mindfulness principles.
Prospective, one-group, pre/post-test design
Poor study design and small sample prevent drawing a valid conclustion about the effect of the intervention.
MBCT may be an effective intervention for cancer survivors and carers who are willing to make a time commitment for sessions and homework. Further research is warranted.