Mindfulness-based stress reduction can alleviate cancer- related fatigue: A meta-analysis

J Psychosom Res. 2020 Mar;130:109916. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2019.109916. Epub 2019 Dec 27.


Objectives: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to critically evaluate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

Methods: A systematic search of eight databases (Web of Science, Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Spring link, CNKI, Wanfang, VIP, CBM) was performed, to find randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from inception to January 2019. Using Cochrane Collaboration criteria, two reviewers critically and independently assessed the risk of bias and extracted correlated data using the designed form. All analyses were performed with Review Manager 5.3.

Results: In all, fifteen RCTs were included in the systematic review, fourteen of which, consisting of 3008 patients (MBSR, 1502; control, 1506), were included in the meta-analysis. MBSR had a significant effect on fatigue in cancer patients, particularly among lung cancer patients. The meta-analysis also indicated that MBSR could significantly mitigate CRF compared with usual care or no intervention. 8 weeks of MBSR, supervised by experts, had a large effect on CRF.

Conclusions: MBSR is effective for CRF management and can be recommended as a beneficial complementary therapy for CRF patients.

Keywords: Cancer-related fatigue; Meta- analysis; Mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fatigue / complications*
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*