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Mindfulness-based supportive therapy on reducing suffering in patients with advanced cancer: randomised controlled trial
  1. Seng Beng Tan1,
  2. Chung Huey Chee1,
  3. Chin Fei Ngai1,
  4. Siew Lin Hii1,
  5. Yi Wen Tan1,
  6. Chong Guan Ng1,
  7. David Paul Capelle1,
  8. Sheriza Izwa Zainuddin1,
  9. Ee Chin Loh1,
  10. Chee Loong Lam1,
  11. Chee Shee Chai2 and
  12. Diana Leh Ching Ng2
  1. 1Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Seng Beng Tan, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia; pramudita_1{at}hotmail.com

Abstract

Objectives Suffering is common among patients with advanced cancer. The practice of mindfulness during patient care can potentially reduce suffering. We aimed to examine the efficacy of mindfulness-based supportive therapy (MBST) on reducing suffering in patients with advanced cancer.

Methods We conducted a parallel-group, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial at the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. Seventy-three patients with advanced cancer with an overall suffering score ≥4/10 based on the Suffering Pictogram were recruited and randomly assigned into either the MBST group (n=34) or the control group (n=39).

Results There was a statistically significant reduction in the overall suffering score in the MBST group compared with the control group (U=432.5, median1=−2.0, median2=−1.0, z=−2.645, p=0.008). There was also significant improvement in the total Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score (U=483.5, median1=−4.0, median2=−3.0, z=−1.994, p=0.046), and the total Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being score (U=252.0, median1=+14.5, median2=+5.0, z=−4.549, p=0.000) in the MBST group compared with the control group.

Conclusions The results provided evidence that the practice of MBST during patient care could promote positive psychosocial outcomes.

  • cancer
  • psychological care
  • quality of life
  • supportive care
  • spiritual care

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors Study design: SBT, DPC, SIZ, ECL, LLC. Recruitment: SBT, CHC, CFN, SLH, YWT. Statistical analyses: SBT, CHC, CFN, SLH, YWT, CGN. Manuscript preparation: SBT, CHC, CFN, SLH, YWT, DPC, SIZ, ECL, LLC, CSC, DLCN. Guarantor: SBT.

  • Funding The study was supported by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme of the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (FRGS/1/2019/SKK02/UNIMAS/02/01).

  • Disclaimer The funding body only financially supported the study, and did not take part in the design of the study; or collection, analyses and interpretation of the data; or writing of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.