Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was not more effective than minimally enhanced usual care in reducing distress in patients with advanced prostate cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Because advanced prostate cancer is associated with substantial psychosocial morbidity, researchers sought to evaluate whether MBCT reduces distress in this population.

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For the study, researchers enrolled 189 patients with metastatic and/or castration-resistant prostate cancer and randomly assigned them 1:1 to receive MBCT or minimally enhanced usual care. MBCT was a group-based intervention delivered by telephone over 8 weeks. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, and 9 months.

Fourteen groups ultimately completed MBCT in the intervention arm, and researchers found that facilitator adherence ratings were high.

The study demonstrated no significant changes in psychological distress, cancer-specific distress, prostate-specific antigen anxiety, or engagement with mindfulness for men who underwent MBCT compared with those who had minimally enhanced usual care.

However, results showed that patients in the MBCT arm reported a significantly improved mindfulness skill of observing compared with those in the usual care group (P =.032). This effect increased over time for men in the MBCT group.

The findings suggest that future research is necessary to evaluate interventions that more closely reflect masculinity in men with advanced prostate cancer.


1. Chambers SK, Occhipinti S, Foley E, et al. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in advanced prostate cancer: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Nov 21. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.68.8788. [Epub ahead of print]