(HealthDay News) — For adolescents with cancer, mindfulness-based meditation is associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms, and with increased sleep quality for girls, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, held from March 12 to 15 in San Francisco.

Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted a prospective study to examine mood, sleep, and quality of life in 13 adolescents with cancer.

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Eight participants were assigned to eight 90-minute weekly mindfulness-based meditation sessions and five adolescents were put on a wait-list (control). Patients completed questionnaires at baseline and after the last meditation session.


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The researchers found that after eight sessions, participants in the mindfulness-based meditation group had a reduction in depressive symptoms, with a trend toward significance.

In the mindfulness group, sleep quality increased for girls, with a trend toward significance. Large effect sizes were seen for negative emotionality and anxiety in boys, and mindfulness scores in girls, although these effects were not significant.

“Our results suggest that mindfulness sessions could be helpful inimproving mood and sleep in teenagers with cancer, as previous oncology researchsuggests with adults,” Malboeuf-Hurtubise said in a statement.

“The social support provided to the adolescents in the mindfulness group could possibly explain observedbenefits on mood and sleep. Nonetheless, mindfulness-basedinterventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer.”

References

  1. Malboeuf-Hurtubines C, Achille M, Hardouin M, et al. Impact of a Mindfulness-Based Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Clinical Trial Intervention on Mood, Sleep and Quality of Life in Teenagers with Cancer. Abstract 1075. Presented at: American Psychosomatic Society 72nd Annual Meeting. March 12-15, 2014; San Francisco.