Feasibility Of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training To Improve Health Related Quality Of Life In Solid Tumor Cancer Survivors And Their Informal Caregivers
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractWhile survival rates of solid tumor cancers have increased, the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of cancer survivor’s post-treatment remains problematic. HRQOL in survivors is significantly lower compared to the general population. Relevant for this problem is that survivors’ HRQOL is interconnected with the HRQOL of their informal caregivers. Caregivers provide support, and their health is important for the well-being of survivors. Most wellness interventions focus on survivors, and few studies focus on both parties. This study investigated the feasibility of a meditation-based intervention for survivors and caregivers. Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®) is an eight-week intervention that teaches compassion and empathy towards self and others. Sixteen solid tumor cancer survivor-informal caregiver dyads were randomly assigned to undergo CBCT or a control. Participants completed HRQOL questionnaires before and after the intervention. We predicted that CBCT would improve HRQOL in survivors and caregivers. Besides being feasible, CBCT improved several domains of HRQOL including anxiety, global HRQOL, health/function, and psychological/spiritual well-being (reflected by effect sizes). Similar effects were not found for caregivers. These findings suggest CBCT may improve HRQOL for survivors, although a larger trial is needed. The extent to which caregivers are required for this effect also remains to be determined.