Both survivors and caregivers experiencing depression and other forms of psychological distress may benefit from counseling from social workers and mental health professionals. A form of meditation called “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,” may be taught in classes or through self help resources aims to help individuals change the ways in which they relate to their thoughts rather than changing their thoughts. Research suggests that mindfulness practices may benefit both survivors and caregivers of cancer survivors and provide both with improved quality of life.
The evidence suggests that mindfulness may result in positive improved psychological functioning, reduction of stress symptoms, enhanced coping and wellbeing.
Last Updated 5.6.2015
Turner, D., Adams, E., Boulton, M., Harrison, S., Khan, N., Rose, P., … & Watson, E. K. (2013). Partners and close family members of long‐term cancer survivors: health status, psychosocial well‐being and unmet supportive care needs. Psycho‐Oncology, 22(1), 12-19.
Wood, A. W., Gonzalez, J., & Barden, S. M. (2015). Mindful caring: using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with caregivers of cancer survivors. Journal of psychosocial oncology, 33(1), 66-84.
Prue, G., Santin, O., & Porter, S. (2015). Assessing the needs of informal caregivers to cancer survivors: a review of the instruments. Psycho‐Oncology, 24(2), 121-129.
Sklenarova, H., Krümpelmann, A., Haun, M. W., Friederich, H. C., Huber, J., Thomas, M., … & Hartmann, M. (2015). When do we need to care about the caregiver? Supportive care needs, anxiety, and depression among informal caregivers of patients with cancer and cancer survivors. Cancer, 121(9), 1513-1519.
Santin, O., Treanor, C., Mills, M., & Donnelly, M. (2014). The health status and health service needs of primary caregivers of cancer survivors: a mixed methods approach. European journal of cancer care, 23(3), 333-339.