A randomized controlled trial of the effects of transcendental meditation on quality of life in older breast cancer patients

Integr Cancer Ther. 2009 Sep;8(3):228-34. doi: 10.1177/1534735409343000.


This single-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluated the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program plus standard care as compared with standard care alone on the quality of life (QOL) of older women (>or=55 years) with stage II to IV breast cancer. One hundred and thirty women (mean age = 63.8) were randomly assigned to either experimental (n = 64) or control (n = 66) groups. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-SP), and Short-Form (SF)-36 mental health and vitality scales were administered every 6 months over an average 18-month intervention period. Significant improvements were found in the Transcendental Meditation group compared with controls in overall QOL, measured by the FACT-B total score (P = .037), emotional well-being (P = .046), and social well-being (P = .003) subscales, and SF-36 mental health ( P = .017).

Results: It is recommended that this stress reduction program, with its ease of implementation and home practice, be adopted in public health programs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sample Size
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome