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Mindfulness-based stress reduction can help breast cancer survivors

Mindfulness-based stress reduction can help breast cancer survivors
30th December 2011

A meditation technique could help breast cancer survivors improve their emotional and physical wellbeing, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can help breast cancer survivors improve their mental health.

The therapy incorporates elements of meditation, yoga and physical awareness, which help generate positive thoughts.

With previous research showing that as many as 50 per cent of breast cancer survivors experience depression, alternative therapies to target mental health could yield positive results.

Professor Jane Armer, researcher on the study, explained: “MBSR is another tool to enhance the lives of breast cancer survivors.

“Patients often are given a variety of options to reduce stress, but they should choose what works for them according to their lifestyles and belief systems.”

The MBSR program consists of group sessions throughout a period of eight to ten weeks.

Professor Armer advices that for the best results, participants should continue MBSR after the class ends to maintain the positive effects.

Feelings of depression can also affect breast cancer outcomes, previous research has shown.

Factors such as marital status, having children in the home, income level and age, each affect the likelihood of depression in breast cancer survivors.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.