Dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, and compassion from others as moderators between stress and depression in caregivers of patients with lung cancer

Psychooncology. 2019 Jul;28(7):1498-1505. doi: 10.1002/pon.5106. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Objective: The present study aimed to identify the most important protective factors predicting caregivers' depressive symptoms among factors of caregivers' dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion from others, and patients' dispositional mindfulness and their moderator effects on the relationship between caregiving stress and depressive symptoms.

Methods: A total of 72 lung cancer outpatients and their family caregivers participated in this study. Family caregivers completed the Kingston Caregiver Stress Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Self-Compassion Scale, and Compassion from Others Scale. Patients completed the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), BDI-II, and FFMQ.

Results: After controlling for patients' factors (treatment status, symptom distress, and depressive symptoms) and caregivers' health status, caregivers' stress and dispositional mindfulness, the domain of mindful awareness, and self-compassionate action were significantly associated with their depressive symptoms. Further analysis indicated that mindful awareness or self-compassionate action could buffer the effect of caregiving stress on depressive symptoms. When the two moderators, mindful awareness and self-compassionate action, were tested simultaneously, only self-compassionate action remained as a significant moderating effect.

Conclusions: Caregivers' mindful awareness and self-compassionate action were protective factors, which mitigate the impact of caregiving stress on their depressive symptoms. Therefore, the future supportive program aims at training the competencies of self-compassionate action with mindful awareness, which may enhance caregivers' coping resources.

Keywords: compassion from others; dispositional mindfulness; family caregiver; lung cancer; self-compassion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Lung Neoplasms / nursing
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / psychology