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Effects of an Integrative Mind-Body-Medicine Group Program on Breast Cancer Patients During Chemotherapy: An Observational Study

[ Vol. 27 , Issue. 8 ]

Author(s):

Heidemarie Haller, Kyung-Eun Choi, Silke Lange, Sherko Kümmel, Anna Paul, Holger Cramer, Gustav Dobos and Petra Voiss*   Pages 1112 - 1120 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers in women in the Western world. Cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, is often associated with physical and psychosocial side effects.

Objective: To improve the quality of life and manage side effects, a new integrative mind-body-medicine group concept for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was developed and pilot tested.

Methods: Breast cancer patients participated in a 66 hours mind-body-medicine group program tailored to the needs of cancer patients during chemotherapy. The program was integrated into standard care encompassing mindfulness training, yoga, moderate exercise, nutrition, complementary self-help strategies, cognitive restructuring, and acupuncture. Quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), depression and anxiety (HADS), stress (PSS-10), and fatigue (BFI) were assessed before and after the program, as well as satisfaction and safety. Analyses were carried out on exploratory basis with paired samples t-tests.

Results: Fifty-seven female patients, aged 51.3±10.5 years, with breast cancer diagnoses were enrolled. After completing the program, global EORTC quality of life was improved (D=9.5; 95%-CI=[2.9|16.1]; p=.005), although the EORTC-symptom scales assessing fatigue (D=9.9; 95%-CI=[1|18.8]; p=.030), nausea (D=7.1; 95%- CI=[0.6|13.6]; p=.031), and dyspnea (D=12.5; 95%-CI=[2.9|22.1]; p=.011) were found to be increased. Stress (D=-3.5; 95%-CI=[-5|-2.1]; p=.000), anxiety (D=-3.8; 95%-CI=[-4.9|-2.7]; p=.000) and depression (D=-3.9; 95%-CI=[-4.9|-2.8]; p=.000) were also found to be significantly reduced. Regarding the severity of (D=0.2; 95%- CI=[-0.8|0.5]; p=.644) and the impairment due to fatigue (D=0.1; 95%-CI=[-0.8|0.6]; p=.696), no significant worsening was observed. Patients were satisfied with the program. No serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: Breast cancer patients benefit from an integrative mind-body-medicine group program during chemotherapy regarding the quality of life and psychological symptoms. Randomized controlled trials are warranted.

Keywords:

Breast cancer, chemotherapy, mind-body therapies, mindfulness-based stress reduction, acupuncture, quality of life, anxiety, depression.

Affiliation:

Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research, and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR) at the Faculty of Human Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Breast Unit, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen



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