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26-09-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2016

A Mindfulness-Based Meditation Pilot Study: Lessons Learned on Acceptability and Feasibility in Adolescents with Cancer

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2016
Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Marie Achille, Lorraine Muise, Raphaëlle Beauregard-Lacroix, Majorie Vadnais, Éric Lacourse


A growing body of research has documented the psychological impact of cancer on adolescents (such as symptoms of depression, anxiety and withdrawal). Findings from the adult literature suggest that mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are a promising treatment option for helping individuals manage cancer and alleviate the associated psychological symptoms. The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a MBI for adolescents with cancer and examine its potential positive impact on sleep, mood, and quality of life. Over 9 months of recruitment, 481 youth were screened for participation in this project. Of these, 418 (86.9 %) were excluded because they lived further than 1 h from the intervention site, had no history of cancer, had died or were not reachable by telephone. Of the 63 who were contacted, only 7 (1.4 %) agreed to participate, gave their consent, and provided a complete dataset. A prospective quasi-experimental pretest–posttest design with two groups (experimental; n = 7 and no treatment; n = 7) was used to assess the MBI. Only participants from the experimental group completed follow-up measures at 6 months. Repeated-measure ANOVAs were conducted to assess the impact of the intervention. No significant differences between or within groups were found pre to post assessment and at follow-up. A narrow pool of eligible participants, a high refusal rate, school scheduling conflicts and absenteeism had a significant impact on the final sample size. Suggestions to conduct future trials are presented. Larger randomized-controlled trials are necessary to assess whether MBIs have significant beneficial effects in teenagers with cancer.

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