Contemplative self healing in women breast cancer survivors: A pilot study in underserved minority women shows improvement in quality of life and reduced stress

Mary E. Charlson, Joseph Loizzo, Alyson Moadel, Miles Neale, Chayim Newman, Erin Olivo, Emily Wolf, Janey C. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Among underserved, largely minority women who were breast cancer survivors, this pilot project was designed to evaluate the quality of life outcomes of a 20 week Contemplative Self-Healing Program.Methods: Women previously treated for stage I-III breast cancer were assessed before and after the 20 week program with the FACT-G, FACT-B, FACIT-Spirituality, ECOG, and the Impact of Events Scale. They participated in a 20-week intervention involving guided meditation and cognitive-affective-behavioral learning.Results: With an average age of 63, 62% of the participants were African-American or Latino. With an average of 5.4 years since the diagnosis of breast cancer, 72% had an ECOG performance status of 1. 57% were currently working.Their baseline FACT-G was 80.5 ± 15.1, and their baseline Impact of Events Scale was 26.3 ± 18.9. The within-patient improvement on the FACT-G was 4.6 ± 10.9 (p = .01); in parallel the FACT-B improved by 2.8 ± 12.8 points (p = .03). The Impact of Events Scale improved by 6.6 ± 15.5 points (p = .01). There was significant within-patient improvement on both the avoidance scale (3.8 ± 9.2) and on the intrusion scale (2.9 ± 7.9). Patients who attended more sessions and conducted more home practice had greater improvements in quality of life.Conclusion: Persons receiving a 20-session contemplative self healing intervention showed improved quality of life, with a clinically and statistically significant increase in the FACT-G. In addition, this population showed a significant reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms assessed by the Impact of Events Scale.Trial registration: Clinical Trials Gov NCT00278837.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number349
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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