Objective Being a palliative cancer care professional is challenging and stressful. In recent decades, there has been more interest in mindfulness to improve overall well-being of healthcare professionals. Mindfulness integrated cognitive behavioural interventions (MICBI) are more practical, flexible and understandable than traditional psychological therapies alone. There is a dearth of studies in India with no psychological intervention in palliative cancer care professionals to date. The aim was to examine the effects of MICBI for professional care workers at palliative cancer care centres in Bengaluru city of Southern India.
Methods A single group study design was adopted with pre, post and 3-month follow-up assessment with a sample of 25 participants working full-time at a hospice. The MICBI programme was for six sessions, once a week for 2–2.5 hours. Outcome variables were professional quality of life measures (burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction), psychological well-being score and mindfulness skills score (assessed using Professional Quality of Life Scale-V.5, Psychological Well-Being Scale and Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire). Wilcoxon signed rank test and Friedman test analysed differences between pre, post and follow-up data.
Results The MICBI could significantly reduce burnout and secondary traumatic stress; it improved compassion satisfaction, psychological well-being and mindfulness skills; treatment gains were maintained at 3 months follow-up.
Conclusions MICBI was feasible and effective for palliative cancer care professionals with implications for training, practice and future research.
PROSPERO registration number The study was registered under the Clinical Trials Registry- India (CTRI) (number: CTRI/2018/03/019170).
- psychological care
- hospice care
- education and training
- quality of life
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Presented at This research work won the 'First Prize for Original Paper Presentation’ at 28th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care Conference on 21st March 2021.
Contributors AK was involved in data collection, writing the first draft of the manuscript and finalising it. MPS was involved in supervision of MICBI sessions, data interpretation and reviewing the manuscript critically. SKC was involved in ethical approval and permissions related to the study. All authors were involved in study conceptualisation, design, editing and approval of the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.