The Comparative Effect of Reduced Mindfulness-Based Stress on Heart Rate Variability among Patients with Breast Cancer

Author: Shu-Jung Wang1, Yun-Chen Chang2, Wen-Yu Hu1,3, Yuh-Ming Chang4, Chi Lo5
1 School of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Ren-Ai Rd. Sec. 1, Taipei 10051, Taiwan.
2 School of Nursing and Graduate Institute of Nursing, China Medical University, No. 100, Sec. 1, Jingmao Rd., Beitun Dist., Taichung 40604, Taiwan.
3 Department of Nursing, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7, Chung-Shan South Rd., Taipei 10002, Taiwan.
4 Institute of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 40201, Taiwan.
5 Department of Hospitality Management, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu 30012, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2022 May 27
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: 6537 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph19116537. , Word Count: 205

Heart rate variability (HRV) is a powerful tool for observing interactions between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This study evaluated HRV during a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program among women with breast cancer after receiving treatment. A quasi-experimental, nonrandomized design was used. Patients were allocated to usual care (n = 25) and MBSR (n = 25) groups. HRV was measured using recognized methods to assess the autonomic nervous system. Two-way ANOVA and t-tests were used to examine HRV changes between and within groups, respectively. A significant interaction effect of time with group was observed on heart rate (F (1, 96) = 4.92, p = 0.029, η2 = 0.049). A significant difference was also observed within the MBSR group preintervention and postintervention with regard to heart rate (t (24) = -3.80, p = 0.001), standard deviation of the RR interval (t (24) = 5.40, p < 0.001), root-mean-square difference in the RR interval (t (24) = 2.23, p = 0.035), and high-frequency power (t (24) = 7.73, p < 0.001). Large effect sizes for heart rate and SDNN of 0.94 and 0.85, respectively, were observed between the MBSR and usual care groups. This study provides preliminary evidence that an MBSR program may be clinically useful for facilitating parasympathetic activity associated with feelings of relaxation in treated breast cancer survivors.

Keywords: breast cancer; heart rate variability (HRV); mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

PMID: 35682121 PMCID: PMC9180838 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19116537