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Feasibility of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Survivors

Purpose: To assess the feasibility of whether mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has a positive effect on breast cancer survivors’ psychological status, psychosocial characteristics, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) during the critical transition period from end of treatment to resumption of daily activities.
Design: Single-group, quasi-experimental, pretest–posttest design. Method: A sample of 19 women who completed breast cancer treatment with lumpectomy, radiation, and/or chemotherapy was recruited from the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute– designated cancer center, and the University of South Florida. The authors assessed the feasibility, compliance, and whether an 8-week MBSR program positively influenced changes in psychological status (fear of recurrence, perceived stress, anxiety, depression), psychosocial characteristics (optimism, social support, spirituality), physical symptoms, and QOL. Findings: Seventeen women (89.5%) com- pleted the study. The mean age was 57 years; the majority of participants (94%) were white. The estimated compliance rate for the program was 67%. Paired t tests indicated significant improvements fear of recurrence, perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and QOL through MBSR participation.
Conclusions: Participants enrolled in the MBSR classes generally were compliant. Significant improvement in psy- chological status, symptoms, and QOL can be achieved with MBSR use in this population.