Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy reduces chronic cancer-related fatigue: a treatment study

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Abstract

Introduction:

About one-third of cancer survivors suffer from severe chronic fatigue. Aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive group therapy in reducing severe chronic fatigue in cancer survivors with mixed diagnoses.

Patients and Methods:

Participants (n= 100) were randomly selected from a cohort and allocated to an intervention and a waiting list condition. Analyses were based on 59 participants in the intervention condition and 24 in the waiting-list condition. Fatigue severity (Checklist Individual Strength), functional impairment (Sickness Impact Profile) and well being (Health and Disease-Inventory) were assessed before and after the 9-week intervention. The intervention group had a follow-up 6 months following the intervention.

Results:

At post-treatment measurement the proportion of clinically improved participants was 30%, versus 4% in the waiting list condition (χ2 (1) = 6.71;p= 0.007). The mean fatigue score at post-measurement was significantly lower in the intervention group than in the waiting list group corrected for pre-treatment level of fatigue. The mean well-being score at post-measurement was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the waiting list group corrected for pre-treatment level of well-being. The treatment effect was maintained at 6-month follow-up. No difference between the two conditions was found in functional impairment.

Discussion:

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for chronic cancer-related fatigue. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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