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Old 08-11-2016, 09:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
Stress Reduction for Young Breast Cancer Survivors (Clinical Trial)

Dear Members of the Forum,

My name is Ann; I am a researcher seeking to identify interventions that will help women diagnosed with breast cancer. I am aware that this is a forum for breast cancer survivors to provide each other support and information. The support my research team and I can offer is an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial designed to understand the ways in which mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can help the lives of breast cancer survivors. Eligible participants, for this particular study, are those who were diagnosed at 45 years of age or younger (to 18 years of age) and who live in the U.S.A.

If you were diagnosed at an age older than 45, I can share with you that the MBSR is already known to reduce stress and improve psychological and physical health. At the very end of this forum post, we provide a brief summary of findings from studies of MBSR for breast cancer survivors; we also provide additional resources.

Our study for young breast cancer survivors also includes their partners or spouses. Although not for all, women’s relationships with their partners or spouses can be important for healthy functioning. We are seeking to understand whether including women’s partners or spouses in MBSR interventions is key for optimal health for both members of the couple.
If you and your partner or spouse are interested in our study, we provide more information below, including contact information.

Wishing well to all that read this note,

B. Ann Bettencourt, Ph.D.
University of Missouri

If you are interested in participating please email my.wellness.missouri@gmail.com.

Summary of Study
The University of Missouri, Columbia is looking for young breast cancer survivors (diagnosed before the age of 45) and their partner to participate in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. The study seeks to improve psychological, physical, social and emotional well-being for young breast cancer survivors and their partners. We are allowing anyone in the United States who is eligible to participate by sending the intervention materials to your home. The interventions consist of watching a video each week either with your partner or alone depending on what condition you are in. Both members of the couple will be asked to provide saliva before and after the intervention and complete a questionnaire before, after, 1- and 3-months after the intervention. Upon completion of the study, participants will receive $100 in gift cards ($50 for each partner in the couple) and will be allowed to keep the Android Tablet. If you are interested in participating please email my.wellness.missouri@gmail.com to see if you are eligible.

Additional Details about the Study
The interventions in this study include an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course for young breast cancer survivors and their partner, and an MBSR course for just the individual young breast cancer survivor. MBSR is a structured 8-week program that uses mindfulness in an approach focused on alleviating physical pain and improving both physical and emotional well-being. There has been ample research on the use of MBSR for numerous physical and mental health benefits. Research has shown that involvement in MBSR programs improves mood, emotional regulation, immune system functioning, and stress tolerance. Individuals who complete MBSR also show improvements in depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. We also believe mindfulness improves relationship satisfaction and will help couples cope with the unique stressors that come with being a young breast cancer survivor.

Our study is completely remote-based, meaning you will not have to leave your home to participate in the study. If you are eligible and decide to participate, you will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Couples-Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Individual-Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or to a waitlist control group. If you are in either of the MBSR conditions, we will mail an Android tablet to your home at the beginning of the study with other materials. The interventions consist of watching a new hour long video each week of a trained MBSR teacher on the tablets we provide for you and to follow the instructions given by the teacher. If you are in the Couples-MBSR condition, we will ask you to watch the video with your spouse/committed partner. If you are in the Individual-MBSR condition, we will ask that only the young breast cancer survivor watch the video. If you are in the waitlist control group, you will receive the tablet at the end of the study with both intervention videos and materials.

We will ask you to complete a 45-minute questionnaire at the beginning of the study, at the end of the study, 1-month after the study and 3-months after the study. If you and your partner complete all of the surveys you will each receive a $50 gift card, totaling $100 per couple, and you will also be allowed to keep the tablet from the study. Also, participants in all conditions will receive access to the videos in both conditions at the end of the study. Additionally, we will ask for a saliva sample at the beginning of the 8-week intervention and at the end of the intervention. These samples will be sent to you with a return addressed envelope for you to send back in the mail to our lab for analysis. Salivary cortisol can be an indicator of stress and by examining both members of the couples’ stress response, we can better understand the shared stress in the dyad.

If you are interested in participating please email my.wellness.missouri@gmail.com to see if you are eligible.

Resource List
1. Brief summary of studies on MBSR
A study by Lengacher and colleagues (2011) were interested in understanding whether MBSR might help breast cancer survivors. Their findings showed that participants who were involved in the MBSR classes showed modest decreases in feeling of fatigue and disturbance in sleep. One study (Carlson and colleagues, 2007) investigated the long-term effects of an MBSR intervention on breast cancer survivors which resulted in enhanced quality of life and decreased stress symptoms as indicated by immune system biomarkers. These beneficial effects for breast cancer and prostate cancer survivors were present at the one-year follow-up time after the intervention. Finally, Boettcher and colleagues (2014) examined whether MBSR conducted through the internet would show positive benefits for participants with anxiety disorders. They found that participants given MBSR instruction through a website showed a larger decrease of symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia at the conclusion of the study, and reductions in insomnia and anxiety were still present at a six-month follow-up.
2. Link to a free online offering of an MBSR-like course: http://palousemindfulness.com/
3. An online offering, which costs just under $200, from the original designers of MBSR:
4. There may be MBSR classes offered in your area. Do a Google search of MBSR and a nearby city; often classes are available.
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clinical trial, mindfulness, stress reduction

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