Mind-Body Research in Cancer
Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Humana Press Inc
Place of Publication: Totowa
Source ID: shanti-sources-45501
Abstract: Mind-body practices are defined as a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. A large percentage of the population, and especially people with cancer, participate in mind-body programs to help relieve stress, improve quality of life, and modulate physiological systems. At The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, we are conducting a number of clinical trials examining the biobehavioral effects of mind-body programs such as Tibetan Yoga, Hatha Yoga, meditation, and Qigong. Initial studies have found that these programs help to improve aspects of patient quality of life during and after treatment. More research is needed in this area with the use of appropriate control groups and thorough examination of the potential mediators of the benefits of the interventions to truly know the efficacy of these programs. It is clear that different mind-body practices have their place in oncology care. However, it is still uncertain which programs are most effective, and it will likely turn out that different programs are useful for different people at different times within the treatment and recovery trajectory. The key for health care professionals and patients is to encourage participation in some type of mind-body program to help improve aspects of quality of life.