A software application for meditation was found to be acceptable and feasible for cancer patients and improved cancer-related distress symptoms.
The diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship in cancer patients are associated with a significant prevalence of depression and anxiety. Meditation is described as a mind-body technique that utilizes breath, sound, and/or visualizations to improve health and related quality of life and reduce distress. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies concluded that the use of a software application (app) for meditation among cancer patients improves symptoms of distress. The study also demonstrated the acceptability and feasibility of this app in cancer patients.
Meditation App Met Feasibility Criteria for Adherence and Recruitment Rates
The meditation app was well-received by cancer patients. The adherence and recruitment rate of the app fulfilled the prior feasibility criteria. Seventy percent of participants in the meditation group were compliant with the twice-weekly sessions and 50% of the participants were recruited.
Participants Reported High Levels of Satisfaction With the Use of the App
According to this study, most cancer patients who participated reported moderate to high satisfaction levels with the utilization of the meditation app. According to the meditation App satisfaction questionnaire scores, with regard to receiving adequate instructions, 87.5% of the participants responded ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ and 93.8% of the participants responded that the meditation app was ‘Very Useful’ or ‘Useful’.
A Substantial Reduction in Anxiety Was Observed With Longer Meditation Sessions
Recorded meditation sessions were offered in 5 min, 10 min, or 15 min lengths. The 15 min sessions demonstrated a greater effect on changes in the anxiety score, with a P value of 0.0466, compared to 5 or 10 min sessions. However, the authors observed no significant association between changes in the anxiety score and the meditation time.
Meditation Apps Improve Fatigue and Multiple Symptoms
Compared to the control group, participants in the meditation group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in global, physical, and psychological distress as well as appetite, depression, anxiety, and scores on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale for fatigue. There were no statistically significant differences in the meditation and control groups for changes in depression scores and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety scores.
Cancer patients were compliant with the use of a meditation app designed for improvement in self-reported symptoms in cancer patients, with significant improvement seen with 15 min meditation sessions.
Lopez, G., Chaoul, A., Warneke, C. L., Christie, A. J., Powers-James, C., Liu, W., Narayanan, S., Delgado-Guay, M., Li, Y., Bruera, E., & Cohen, L. (2023). Self-administered Meditation Application Intervention for Cancer Patients With Psychosocial Distress: A Pilot Study. Integr Cancer Ther, 22, 15347354221148710. https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354221148710