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A Mindfulness Meditation-Based Intervention for Younger Breast Cancer Survivors

Patricia Ganz at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine
Study abstract

Younger women with breast cancer experience significant levels of stress as a result of their breast cancer diagnosis, in terms of their developmental stage in life, personal and family responsibilities, and the major impact of treatments on reproductive health. As a vulnerable population for long-term effects of cancer treatment on subsequent health and well-being, we are pilot testing a mindfulness meditation group intervention to evaluate its benefits in this population. We are conducting a randomized, wait-list control, Phase II trial that will evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a specially designed mindfulness-based intervention on psychological, behavioral, and biological function in younger breast cancer survivors. Sixty breast cancer survivors who were premenopausal at cancer diagnosis and have completed their primary cancer treatment (i.e., surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy) will be enrolled and randomized into the intervention group or to a wait-list control group. Participants will complete questionnaires and provide blood samples for immune evaluation before and after the 6-week intervention. In addition, we are obtaining anthropometric measures and collecting data on autonomic function (heart rate variability) and response to a stress evaluation and rumination task.

Study review

This study at the University of California, Los Angeles, is evaluating the effectiveness of a specially designed mindfulness meditation-based intervention on psychological, behavioral, and biological functioning in women who were diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50. The researchers wanted to enroll 60 volunteers. The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women members on August 31, 2011. The researchers were able to close enrollment on May 8, 2012, after the Army of Women provided them with 75 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.

Resulting Publications: