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A feasibility and acceptability study of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion program for adult cancer patients

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2019

Joanne Brooker
Affiliation:
Szalmuk Family Psycho-Oncology Research Unit, Cabrini Health, 154 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia
John Julian
Affiliation:
Thinking Healthy, Melbourne, Australia
Jeremy Millar
Affiliation:
Alfred Health Radiation Oncology, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne3004, Australia Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
H. Miles Prince
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia
Melita Kenealy
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia
Kirsten Herbert
Affiliation:
Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia
Annette Graham
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
Robin Smith
Affiliation:
Alfred Health Radiation Oncology, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne3004, Australia Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
David Kissane
Affiliation:
Szalmuk Family Psycho-Oncology Research Unit, Cabrini Health, 154 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
Karen Taylor
Affiliation:
Alfred Health Radiation Oncology, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne3004, Australia Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
Mark Frydenberg
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia
Ian Porter
Affiliation:
Alfred Health Radiation Oncology, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne3004, Australia Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
Jane Fletcher
Affiliation:
Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia
Ian Haines
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia Cabrini Health, 181 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia
Sue Burney
Affiliation:
Szalmuk Family Psycho-Oncology Research Unit, Cabrini Health, 154 Wattletree Road, Malvern3144, Australia Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne3800, Australia School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton3800, Australia
Corresponding
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Abstract

Objectives

Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.

Method

The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.

Results

Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.

Significance of results

The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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