Participation in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy on the Immune Function of Survivors of Breast Cancer [post]

Bianca Marteja
2020 unpublished
A cancer diagnosis is one that invokes potential psychosocial distress among those newly diagnosed as well as those undergoing treatment. Individuals experiencing psychosocial distress associated with this condition may also present with a weakened immune system resulting from the effects that inflammatory mediators and stress have on immune function (Witek-Janusek, et. al., 2008). Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (MBSR) is a meditation-based program developed by John Kabat-Zinn in
more » ... hn Kabat-Zinn in 1979. Evidence exists supporting the efficacy of this program in promoting stress reduction and improved psycho-social well being. As immune function is uniquely affected by the physiological effects that stress has on the body, this researcher examined existing literature that explored the potential effects of MBSR on immunity. Overall, a review of current literature presented in this work suggests that MBSR participation results in NKCA, T-cell and B-cell restoration as well as a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers. While results from these studies are statistically significant, they are, however, relatively small. Furthermore, the reliability and one's ability to generalize study findings from this literature review is limited by consistently small sample sizes, high attrition, differing forms of MBSR application, and inconsistent adherence to MBSR home practices. The distribution of a 10-point survey using likert scales occured in a pilot study associated with the aforementioned literature review; this survey evaluated registered nurses' agreement with statements pertaining to openness to learning about MBSR, use of mindfulness practices in the clinical setting, and attitudes about the efficacy of mindfulness. Overall, registered nurses currently working in the clinical setting expressed agreement with the efficacy of mindfulness practices to promote physical and psychosocial wellbeing. However, disparities Running head: EFFECT OF MBSR ON IMMUNE FUNCTION 5
doi:10.33015/ fatcat:77webn6tljchndsvqa2cikolle