A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Quality of Life in Older Breast Cancer Patients
AbstractThis single-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluated the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program plus standard care as compared with standard care alone on the quality of life (QOL) of older women (≥55 years) with stage II to IV breast cancer. One hundred and thirty women (mean age = 63.8) were randomly assigned to either experimental (n = 64) or control (n = 66) groups. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—Breast (FACT-B), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy— Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-SP), and Short-Form (SF)-36 mental health and vitality scales were administered every 6 months over an average 18-month intervention period. Significant improvements were found in the Transcendental Meditation group compared with controls in overall QOL, measured by the FACT-B total score ( P = .037), emotional well-being ( P = .046), and social well-being ( P = .003) subscales, and SF-36 mental health ( P = .017). Results indicate that the Transcendental Meditation technique improves the QOL of older breast cancer patients. It is recommended that this stress reduction program, with its ease of implementation and home practice, be adopted in public health programs.