The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on objective and subjective sleep parameters in women with breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial

Cecile A Lengacher, Richard R Reich, Carly L Paterson, Heather S Jim, Sophia Ramesar, Carissa B Alinat, Pinky H Budhrani, Jerrica R Farias, Melissa M Shelton, Manolete S Moscoso, Jong Y Park, Kevin E Kip
Psycho-oncology 2015, 24 (4): 424-32

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction for breast cancer survivors (MBSR(BC)) on multiple measures of objective and subjective sleep parameters among breast cancer survivors (BCS).

METHODS: Data were collected using a two-armed randomized controlled design among BCS enrolled in either a 6-week MBSR(BC) program or a usual care (UC) group with a 12-week follow-up. The present analysis is a subset of the larger parent trial ( Identifier: NCT01177124). Seventy-nine BCS participants (mean age 57 years), stages 0-III, were randomly assigned to either the formal (in-class) 6-week MBSR(BC) program or UC. Subjective sleep parameters (SSP) (i.e., sleep diaries and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)) and objective sleep parameters (OSP) (i.e., actigraphy) were measured at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks after completing the MBSR(BC) or UC program.

RESULTS: Results showed indications of a positive effect of MBSR(BC) on OSP at 12 weeks on sleep efficiency (78.2% MBSR(BC) group versus 74.6% UC group, p = 0.04), percent of sleep time (81.0% MBSR(BC) group versus 77.4% UC group, p = 0.02), and less number waking bouts (93.5 in MBSR(BC) group versus 118.6 in the UC group, p < 0.01). Small nonsignificant improvements were found in SSP in the MBSR(BC) group from baseline to 6 weeks (PSQI total score, p = 0.09). No significant relationship was observed between minutes of MBSR(BC) practice and SSP or OSP.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that MBSR(BC) may be an efficacious treatment to improve objective and subjective sleep parameters in BCS.

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