Self-Management of Stress for Caregivers of Patients with Advanced Cancer

Photo of a cancer patient embracing his caregiver.

Caregivers of patients with advanced cancer not only cope with the traditional responsibilities of caregiving, but they are faced with additional concerns related to the potential loss of their loved one. Their prolonged stress has been shown to result in poor emotional and physical outcomes over time.

One strategy shown to improve stress management is the use of mindful meditation. Mindful meditation enhances self-management behaviors by allowing a person to better analyze emotions, feelings, and self-awareness—all of which seem to enhance emotional and physical outcomes.

This study compares the effectiveness of an intervention for caregivers of advanced cancer patients that uses mindfulness meditation (Stop, Breathe, & Think™ app) and also provides telephone coaching sessions to provide information for caregivers. In order to test the effect of the intervention, investigators are examining the effect upon physical (brain activation, C-reactive protein, IL-6) and emotional (distress, quality of life) outcomes.

This study is funded by National Institutes of Health, P30 NR015326-02S2 (Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Self-Management Science)

Photo of a brain scan.