Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Mindfulness, acceptance and meaning in life for adults with cancer   (#416)

Fernanda Zimmermann 1 , Jennifer Jordan 1 , Beverley Burrell 1
  1. University of Otago - Christchurch., Christchurch, CANTERBURY, New Zealand

Supportive care for people affected by cancer is recognized as a priority for research, yet there is a paucity of evidence of the effectiveness of psychological treatments for those with advanced cancer. The literature suggests that mindfulness-based interventions may be acceptable and beneficial for this population.


This study aimed to develop a mindfulness training to provide emotional support for the advanced cancer population. The approach comprises mindfulness meditation, developing an acceptance attitude and reflections on meaning in life.


The design is a one-group pre-test post-test with mixed methods. Participants were recruited through public and private hospitals. Measures were Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II, Mindful Coping Scale and, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire. Qualitative semi-structured interviews investigated emotional support before and after the diagnosis, participants’ thoughts about meaning in life, expectations and experience of mindfulness training. Treatment consisted of one to one 30 minute sessions weekly for 4 weeks using a pre-recorded CD/podcast of the mindfulness training. Qualitative data will be analysed using thematic analysis. This research is part of the presenter’s PhD study.


This project is currently underway. The presenter will provide preliminary data on the acceptability of the mindfulness training package being delivered to participants along with the recruitment strategies.


Patients at end of life require constant care and support, yet this population has been reported as a neglected group without proven interventions to reduce the psychological distress they experience. This study will provide preliminary data on the efficacy and acceptability of this novel self-management strategy aimed at reducing psychological distress and enabling better coping with advanced cancer.