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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

P02.170. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for breast cancer: a systematic review of randomized-controlled trials

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BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201212 (Suppl 1) :P226

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Breast Cancer
  • Confidence Interval
  • Cancer Patient
  • Internal Medicine


To assess the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in patients with breast cancer.


MEDLINE, PsychInfo, EMBASE, CAMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were screened through October 2011. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing MBSR to controls were analyzed. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. For each outcome, standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated, if at least 2 studies assessing this outcome were available. As a measure of heterogeneity, I2 was calculated.


Three RCTs with a total of 319 subjects were included. One RCT compared MBSR to usual care; one RCT compared MBSR to free choice stress management; and one three-arm RCT compared MBSR to usual care and nutrition education. MBSR was superior to usual care in decreasing depression (SMD=-0.37 [95% CI -0.65 to -0.08], p=0.01, I2=0%) and anxiety (SMD=-0.51 [95% CI -0.80 to -0.21], p=0.0009, I2=0%) but not in increasing spirituality (SMD=0.27 [95% CI -0.37 to 0.91], p=0.41, I2>79%).


There is some evidence of effectiveness of MBSR in improving psychological health in breast cancer patients. However more RCTs are needed to underpin these results.

Authors’ Affiliations

University of Duisburg, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Essen, Germany


© Cramer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.