Researchers at the University of Montreal, has suggested that mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teens.
Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise of the university's Department of Psychology and her team asked 13 adolescents with cancer to complete questionnaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life.
The group was divided in two: a first group of eight adolescents were offered eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions and the remaining five adolescents in the control group were put on a wait-list. The eight sessions were 90 minutes long and took place weekly.
After the last meditation session, patients from both groups filled out the same questionnaires a second time.
Differences between both groups were not large enough for the researchers to impute observed benefits solely to the mindfulness component of the sessions.
"The social support provided to the adolescents in the mindfulness group could possibly explain observed benefits on mood and sleep," Malboeuf-Hurtubise said.
"Nonetheless, mindfulness-based interventions for teenagers with cancer appear as a promising option to lighten psychological inconveniences of living with cancer." The researchers intend to offer members of the control group an opportunity to undertake the meditation sessions.