Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in Romanian Breast Cancer Inpatients

Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in Romanian Breast Cancer Inpatients

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The present study investigated the effect of a mindfulness-based intervention on anxiety, depression symptoms, coping mechanisms and quality of life in a group of Romanian breast cancer inpatients. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention was carried out. in a group of female cancer patients, hospitalized and treated with radiotherapy at the Institute of Oncology "Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuta" in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Our results indicate that, the MBSR intervention did not. reduce either negative affectivity, nor contribute to the flexibility of cognitive processes, nor to improvements in quality of life, but. it. helped reduce the isolation of patients assigned to the experimental group. This is the first published study that, investigates the MBSR intervention in oncological settings in Romania.

KEYWORDS: breast cancer, distress, quality of life, isolation, MBSR

Cancer and its treatment bring about a series of specific problems in the life of people involved: a diagnosis perceived as the synonym of death penalty, the short- term and long-term consequences of the treatment (e.g. the pain) or other, perplexing side effects (such as the amputation of the breast, nausea, hair loss as a result of chemo- and radiotherapy), and the subsequent modification of life-style (Szabo, 2001). Hospitalized cancer patients in Romania experience high levels of cancer distress: 47.5% are clinically depressed, 46.7% suffer from anxiety disorders, and 28.1% report critically low quality of life (Degi, 2011). Ethnic minorities, particularly Hungarian and Rroma cancer patients, are most vulnerable to depression and emotional distress (Degi, Kállay, & Vincze, 2007).

In Europe, a number of 3,2 millions of people are diagnosed with cancer every year (53% male; 47% female), which means an increase of 300,000 cases since 2004 (Ferlay et al., 2007). Until 2020, an increase of 50% of cancer cases is estimated, which means 16 million new patients globally and 1,030,200 new cases in Central and Eastern Europe (553,100 male and 477,100 female) (WHO, 2005).

The annual death rate of cancer is of 1,7 million cases (56% male, 44% female), out of which 637,000 people (359,200 male; 277.800 female) are from Central and Eastern Europe (Ferlay Autier, Boniol, Heabue, Colombet, & Boyle, 2007; WHO, 2005). This percentage represents 15% of the Central and Eastern European mortality. It is estimated that by 2020 cancer will have caused the death of approximately 10,3 millions of people globally, which means an increase of 25% of the Eastern and Central European mortality (742,800 people, of which 432,600 male and 310,200 female) (WHO, 2005).

Presently, the incidence of cancer in Romania is under the European average rate (240.66 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, at a population of 21,5 million vs. the European 460.12). This situation has persisted over the last two decades. Although today the incidence of cancer is relatively moderate, cancer mortality is increasing; having reached the European average (Romania 179.8 vs. Europe 182.79).

Patient's reaction to this type of situations, their attitude towards the disease, and coping strategies may have an effect on co-morbidity and mortality. This effect may be linked to treatment results, or to complex mechanisms which influence reacting forces of the body in coping with the disease (Blasco & Bayes, 1992).

Due to the fact that suffering from cancer is considered a psychosocial condition of extreme intensity, all the factors that may reduce morbidity and mortality should be observed with great caution. In this special category we include factors as: the effect of the illness on emotional well-being, on social relations and on other important aspects of life, and the coping mechanisms on which patients rely. Moreover, cancer combines bio-psycho-social aspects which greatly differ from those in healthy peers (e.g., oncological patients are much more sensitive). …

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