Meditation in oncology clinic

Living Well Magazine Winter 2014

Researchers from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, have found that cancer patients from an oncology outpatient clinic receiving single-session meditation consultation experienced significant reduction in anxiety, fatigue, distress and pain alongside improved wellbeing  and sleep. 

While it is by no means new to discover the positive impacts of meditation on wellbeing, what is  of interest to us here at The Gawler Foundation is simply that the study was conducted on people with cancer in a clinical setting. It is heartening to see this essential lifestyle practice integrated into an oncology setting for the profound benefit of patients.

Each patient in the study received an individual meditation consultation (60-minute initial visit and 30 minute follow-up visits. 81 meditation visits for 121 participants were analysed over 32 months May 2011 – December 2013. Participants completed a scale at the end of each session. The results revealed a significant reduction from pre- to post- meditation session in physical, psychological and symptom distress component scores. All changes reached statistically and clinically significant thresholds.

Researchers concluded that “a single meditation session resulted in acute relief in multiple self-reported symptoms with the greatest reduction in anxiety, fatigue & distress.” (1)

This research adds weight to the practice of a truly integrated approach to health, healing and wellbeing, specifically for those people living with cancer.

1. Chaoul, A., et al. (2014). An Analysis of Meditation Consultations in an Integrative Oncology Outpatient Clinic. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(5), A86-A86.