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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 61 (2019) 9, 605 - 616


RCT about mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for psychological distress in cancer patients

F. Compen, E.M. Bisseling, M. Schellekens, R. Donders, L. Carlson, M. van der Lee, A.E.M. Speckens

background Cancer patients may experience psychological distress, like anxiety and depressive symptoms. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (mbct) has been shown to alleviate this psychological distress. However, patients experience barriers in participating in face-to-face mbct. Individual internet-based mbct (embct) could be an alternative.
aim To compare mbct and embct to treatment as usual (tau) for psychological distress in cancer patients.
method 245 cancer patients with psychological distress were randomly allocated to mbct (n = 77), embct (n = 90) or tau (n = 78). Patients completed baseline (T0) and post-intervention (T1) assessments. The primary outcome was psychological distress on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Outcomes were analyzed using linear mixed modeling on the intention-to-treat sample. Since both interventions were compared to tau, the type I error rate was set to p < 0.025.
results Compared to tau, patients reported significantly less psychological distress after both mbct (Cohen’s d = 0.43, p < 0.001) and embct (Cohen’s d = 0.63, p < 0.001).
conclusion Compared to tau, mbct and embct were similarly effective in reducing psychological distress in a sample of distressed heterogeneous cancer patients.

keywords cancer, mbct, mindfulness, online, psychological distress