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Can Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Reduce Distress in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer?

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Key Points

  • No benefit of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was found in reducing distress among men with advanced prostate cancer.
  • Future intervention research for these men should consider approaches that map more closely to masculinity, proposed the investigators.

Chambers et al found that a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy intervention did not improve measures of distress or anxiety vs minimally enhanced usual care among men with advanced prostate cancer, according to an Australian study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the study, 189 men were randomized to undergo an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy intervention delivered by telephone (n = 94) or usual care minimally enhanced with patient education (n = 95). Primary outcome measures were psychological distress, cancer-specific distress, and prostate-specific antigen anxiety. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, and 9 months.

No Difference in Outcomes

A total of 14 mindfulness-based cognitive therapy groups were conducted in the intervention group. No significant differences between groups were observed for psychological distress, cancer-specific distress, prostate-specific antigen anxiety, quality of life, or benefit finding. With regard to mindfulness skills, no significant differences were found for observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner experience, or nonreactivity to inner experience. In per-protocol analysis, no differences were found on any of these measures apart from an improvement in observing in the intervention group.

The investigators concluded: “[Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy] in this format was not more effective than minimally enhanced usual care in reducing distress in men with advanced [prostate cancer]. Future research examining how masculinity influences men’s adjustment to cancer and responses to support is needed.”

The study was supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research grant.

Suzanne K. Chambers, PhD, of the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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