Effects of mindfulness-based interventions on fatigue and psychological wellbeing in women with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials

Author: Kairen McCloy1, Ciara Hughes1, Dr Lynn Dunwoody1, Dr Joanne Marley1, Dr Jackie Gracey1
1 Ulster University, Newtownabbey, UK.
Conference/Journal: Psychooncology
Date published: 2022 Oct 11
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/pon.6046. , Word Count: 276

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can cause fatigue, stress and anxiety which can have a detrimental effect on patients, families and the wider community. Mindfulness-based interventions appear to have positive effects on managing these cancer-related symptoms.

To investigate the efficacy of mindfulness on cancer related fatigue (CRF) and psychological well-being in female cancer patients.

Five databases (CINHAL, Ovid Medline, Ovid Psych Info, Scopus, and Cochrane), and two trial registers (WHO and Clinicaltrials.gov) were searched for randomised control trials from inception to April 2021 and updated in August 2022. Meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.4. The standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to determine the intervention effect. Subgroup analysis was performed for adaptation to types of mindfulness, length of intervention and types of comparator used.

Twenty-one studies with a total of 2079 participants were identified. Mindfulness significantly improved CRF (SMD -0.81, 95% CI -1.17 to -0.44), depression (SMD -0.74, 95% CI -1.08 to -0.39) and anxiety (SMD -0.92, 95% CI -1.50 to -0.33). No effect was observed for quality of life (SMD 0.32, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.87) and sleep (SMD -0.65, 95% CI -1.34 to 0.04). Subgroup analysis revealed that there was little difference in SMD for adapted type of mindfulness (p=0.42), wait list control (WLC) compared to active comparator (AC) (p=0.05) or length of intervention (p=0.29).

Mindfulness appears to be effective in reducing CRF and other cancer related symptoms in women. Adaptations to mindfulness delivery did not have negative impact on results which may aid delivery in the clinical settings. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Cancer; meta-analysis; mindfulness; mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; mindfulness-based stress reduction; oncology; psycho-oncology; systematic review; women.

PMID: 36221152 DOI: 10.1002/pon.6046