Skip to main content

The Efficacy of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Decreasing Anxiety and Depression among Breast Cancer Survivors

12 August 2017


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer diagnoses in women, where 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Due to advancements in treatment, therapy, and early diagnosis, women are living longer with the disease. Interventions focus on managing symptoms through active cancer treatment; however, few interventions focus on treatment of symptoms at survivorship and beyond. Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is a validated interventional program that patients can use to help manage depression and anxiety associated with the disease. The following review aims to determine the continuing efficacy of MBSR on reducing anxiety and depression among breast cancer survivors.

Methods: An exhaustive search of available medical literature was performed using MEDLINE- Pubmed, Clinical Key, and Web of Science. Keywords used included: mindfulness, breast cancer, survivors, RCT, and MBSR. Studies were assessed for quality using GRADE criteria.

Results: Thirty-seven articles were reviewed. After screening the titles and abstracts for eligibility, a total of two articles met the inclusion criteria. These studies were randomized control trials that included an 8-week MBSR program. These studies showed an improvement in anxiety or depression post-intervention. While MBSR is effective, further studies need to focus on sub-group analysis and long-term benefits past 12-months.

Conclusion: MBSR is cost-effective and beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression among breast cancer survivors up to 12-months post-intervention.

Keywords: Mindfulness based stress reduction, breast cancer, survivors, anxiety, depression, randomized control study.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
Main File
19 Mar 2020
494 kB