Mindfulness-Based Interventions Recommended for Anxiety in Cancer

MBIs recommended for anxiety symptoms and depression symptoms during and after cancer treatment
seniors practicing mindfulness, yoga
seniors practicing mindfulness, yogaAdobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- In evidence-based guidelines issued by the Society for Integrative Oncology and American Society of Clinical Oncology and published online Aug. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, recommendations are presented for integrative approaches to managing anxiety and depression during and after cancer treatment.

Linda E. Carlson, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine anxiety or depression symptoms, as measured by validated psychometric tools and adverse events, among adults living with cancer. A total of 30 systematic reviews and 80 randomized controlled trials were reviewed to inform the evidence base for the guidelines.

The authors recommend mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), yoga, relaxation, music therapy, reflexology, and aromatherapy (using inhalation) for treatment of anxiety symptoms during active cancer treatment; they recommend the use of MBIs, yoga, acupuncture, tai chi and/or qigong, and reflexology for symptoms of anxiety after cancer treatment. MBIs, yoga, music therapy, relaxation, and reflexology are recommended during treatment for depression symptoms, while MBIs, yoga, and tai chi and/or qigong are recommended after treatment.

"We have seen a steady increase in interest in these therapies among cancer patients over the years, but certain roadblocks have prevented patients from accessing them," coauthor Julia Rowland, Ph.D., from the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "We hope that comprehensive cancer centers and governing administrative bodies consider prioritizing MBIs in patient care."

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