Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis

Psychooncology. 2009 Jun;18(6):571-9. doi: 10.1002/pon.1400.


Objective: This meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the mental and physical health status of various cancer patients.

Methods: Ten studies (randomized-controlled trials and observational studies) were found to be eligible for meta-analysis. Individual study results were categorized into mental and physical variables and Cohen's effect size d was computed for each category.

Results: MBSR may indeed be helpful for the mental health of cancer patients (Cohen's effect size d=0.48); however, more research is needed to show convincing evidence of the effect on physical health (Cohen's effect size d=0.18).

Conclusion: The results suggest that MBSR may improve cancer patients' psychosocial adjustment to their disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Arousal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sick Role
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*