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Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Evaluating the Biopsychosocial Effects for Patients with Cancer (pp. 87-106) $100.00
Authors:  (James L. McAbee, Elise E. Labbé and Kelley L. Drayer, Combined Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Doctoral Program at the University of South Alabama, Alabama, USA, and others)
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other mindfulnessbased
interventions are being used in a variety of health care settings to help
medical patients cope with the biopsychosocial changes that occur during and
after medical treatment and in remission (Labbé, 2011). In the past decade,
hundreds of studies are being reported that indicate that mindfulness-based
programs are effective in reducing negative behavioral, emotional, cognitive,
physiological, and neurological symptoms (Davis & Hayes, 2011, Hofmann,
Sawyer, Witt & Oh, 2010). Mindfulness-based interventions can also increase
positive perception of social support and help family and friends of patients
cope more effectively with the caregiving of the patient (McBee, 2009).
In 2004, Grossman and colleagues published a meta-analysis on the health
benefits of MBSR. They reported that medium effect sizes were found for both
controlled and uncontrolled studies. Based on a small number of studies
available at that time, they concluded that MBSR can provide significant
health benefits for both clinical and non-clinical populations. A more recent
meta-analysis on the effects of mindfulness meditation and MBSR for nonclinical
populations reported that a variety of psychological variables,
including intelligence, emotional regulation and mindfulness improved after
participation in mindfulness meditation and/or MBS programs, with a medium
effect size (Eberth & Sedlmier, 2012). They also found that the effect size
varied over the dependent variables measured noting that studies on MBSR
had better effect sizes than mindfulness meditation alone. These results
suggest that at least for non-clinical populations - components of MBSR other
than meditation need to be evaluated to determine how these non-meditation
components contribute to improved outcomes.
Although studies show that mindfulness-based interventions are beneficial
for a wide range of populations, there is a need to evaluate these interventions
for specific clinical populations. Studies that focus on specific diseases can
help determine what components of MBSR and mindfulness meditation is
most beneficial for increasing biopsychosocial effects. Through systematic
examination of the effects of mindfulness-based interventions, we will be able
to determine whether or not typical components of these programs are useful
for specific patient populations. Furthermore, when and what types of
adaptations should be made to mindfulness-based interventions for specific
patient populations can be determined. The purpose of this systematic review
of the research literature is to determine what empirical evidence exists for the
biopsychosocial effects of mindfulness-based interventions specifically for
patients that have cancer or who have received medical treatment for cancer or
are in remission. First, we describe the method we used to find relevant
research. Then we describe the psychosocial changes that patients with cancer
experiences, followed by an examination of the research studies on how
psychosocial factors are affected by mindfulness-based intervention. Then we
describe physiological and neurological changes patients with cancer
experience and then the effectiveness of mindfulness-biased interventions in
ameliorating these changes. We conclude with a discussion of the limitation
and strengths of research reported, implications for psychological and medical
treatment of patients with cancer and directions for future research. 

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Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Evaluating the Biopsychosocial Effects for Patients with Cancer (pp. 87-106)