One year pre-post intervention follow-up of psychological, immune, endocrine and blood pressure outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Brain Behav Immun

Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre Holy Cross Site, Alberta Cancer Board, 2202 Second St. S.W., Calgary, Alta., Canada T3B 0W7.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 5.89). 12/2007; 21(8):1038-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.04.002
Source: PubMed


This study investigated the ongoing effects of participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on quality of life (QL), symptoms of stress, mood and endocrine, immune and autonomic parameters in early stage breast and prostate cancer patients.
Forty-nine patients with breast cancer and 10 with prostate cancer enrolled in an eight-week MBSR program that incorporated relaxation, meditation, gentle yoga and daily home practice. Demographic and health behaviors, QL, mood, stress symptoms, salivary cortisol levels, immune cell counts, intracellular cytokine production, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were assessed pre- and post-intervention, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up.
Fifty-nine, 51, 47 and 41 patients were assessed pre- and post-intervention and at 6- and 12-month follow-up, respectively, although not all participants provided data on all outcomes at each time point. Linear mixed modeling showed significant improvements in overall symptoms of stress which were maintained over the follow-up period. Cortisol levels decreased systematically over the course of the follow-up. Immune patterns over the year supported a continued reduction in Th1 (pro-inflammatory) cytokines. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased from pre- to post-intervention and HR was positively associated with self-reported symptoms of stress.
MBSR program participation was associated with enhanced quality of life and decreased stress symptoms, altered cortisol and immune patterns consistent with less stress and mood disturbance, and decreased blood pressure. These pilot data represent a preliminary investigation of the longer-term relationships between MBSR program participation and a range of potentially important biomarkers.

Download full-text


Available from: Linda Carlson,
  • Source
    • "In that study MBSR participants also exhibited increased brain electrical activity indicative of positive mood and the magnitude of change in brain activity predicted the magnitude of change in immune response (Davidson, et al., 2003). Evidence from uncontrolled studies of cancer patients, who were evaluated well-beyond diagnosis, also suggests that MBSR may effect the immune system (Carlson et al., 2003, 2007). Given that few studies have evaluated the immune effects of MBSR in cancer patients, and to our knowledge no studies have evaluated the effects of MBSR for recently diagnosed breast cancer patients, we conducted this study. "

    Brain Behavior and Immunity 10/2015; 49:e37-e38. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.06.143 · 5.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In cancer patients, mindfulness interventions have been observed to have a modifying effect by producing a decrease in morning cortisol levels in patients with high initial levels and an increase in morning cortisol in patients with lower initial levels (Bränström et al. 2013). With regard to pro-inflammatory biomarkers, a progressive reduction in Th1 cytokine levels was found over 1 year of participation in this type of intervention (Carlson et al. 2007). In caregivers of people with cancer, the participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program reduced cortisol and interleukin-6 levels (Lengacher et al. 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness-based interventions have demonstrated to be effective in reducing stress and health complaints in clinical populations. However, to our knowledge, biological health markers have not been used in studies of the effectiveness of mindfulness programs in caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This study aimed to assess the effects of a mindfulness intervention on mood disturbances and health complaints in this population compared with non-caregivers. The design of the study was quasi-experimental, with repeated measures. Self-reported health, cortisol awakening response (CAR), and afternoon cortisol levels before and after a mindfulness session were assessed at the beginning, middle, and end of the intervention. There was a significant reduction in mood disturbances and afternoon cortisol levels during the sessions in all participants, with the reductions being more pronounced in caregivers. Moreover, all participants showed fewer depressive and somatic symptoms at the end of the program, with an improvement in their self-perceived general health. Nevertheless, the CAR levels had not changed significantly after the program. Overall, these results indicate that mindfulness group therapy could be effective for reducing health complaints and reinforce the validity of these programs for caregivers.
    Mindfulness 07/2014; 6(4). DOI:10.1007/s12671-014-0316-0 · 3.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In contrast with change-oriented CBT strategies, mindfulness is an acceptance-based approach (Bishop et al. 2004) with established effectiveness for lessening perceived stress (Carlson, Speca, Faris, and Patel 2007; Carmody, Baer, Lykins, and Olendzki 2009; Ludwig and Kabat-Zinn 2008; Matousek and Dobkin 2010) and a long history of use for chronic pain. Reducing stress is expected to influence topdown regulation of pain responsivity inherent to central sensitization and neuroendocrine skin pathophysiology of PVD (Basson 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is the most common cause of painful intercourse in women of reproductive age and research supports psychological approaches in the management of chronic pain. We developed a four-session group treatment for women with PVD that relied mostly on mindfulness meditation skills along with education and some discussion of cognitive theory. A total of 85 women were assigned either to immediate treatment (n = 62; mean age, 39 years) or to a 3-month wait-list condition followed by treatment (n = 23; mean age, 40 years). Questionnaires and a genital pain assessment were administered at pre- and post-treatment, and at 6 months follow-up. Women assigned to the two groups did not significantly differ on any measure at baseline. During the pretreatment wait-list period, there were significant improvements in pain self-efficacy, and non-significant improvements in feelings of helplessness, and sex-related distress. Pain self-efficacy, pain catastrophizing, genital pain induced by a cotton swab exam, pain hypervigilance, and sex-related distress all improved with treatment. There was no change in pain with intercourse. Pretreatment genital pain was the best predictor of post-treatment genital pain. Genital pain at 6-month follow-up was predicted by pretreatment genital pain, change in pain self-efficacy, and number of comorbid chronic pain conditions. Taken together, these findings support the use of a brief mindfulness-based program as a promising treatment for distressing genital pain.
    Mindfulness 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12671-013-0273-z
Show more