The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of MBSR on the symptoms of sexual distress and body image related distress in younger breast cancer survivors. Problems related to sexuality in younger breast cancer survivors are prevalent and often reported following surgical and adjuvant treatment leading to sexual distress and body image issues in this population. This project will build upon the resources and strengths of the MBSR Symptom Cluster Trial for Breast Cancer Survivors, 1R01CA131080, which is being conducted by Dr. Lengacher, the sponsor of this NRSA application, and will complement the goals of Dr. Lengacher's study. For this Pre-doctoral NRSA, additional evidence in this younger clinical population who are subjects in the Sponsor's R01 study will be obtained to determine: (1) levels of psychological and physical distress in younger women with breast cancer in transition after treatment;(2) the extent to which the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction-Breast Cancer (MBSR (BC)) as a stress reducing program is efficacious in improving distress related to sexuality, i.e. sexual distress and body image related distress;and (3) if this subgrou of younger patients derive the most benefit from MBSR (BC) compared to older breast cancer survivors. To contribute to the limited knowledge regarding the extent of sexual distress and body image related distress as they impact the quality of life in this population, a two-phase study approach will be taken. First, in Phase 1, a secondary data analysis will be performed on baseline data of the younger breast cancer survivors, age 21-54 participating in the R01 study.
The specific aim for Phase 1 is to assess the levels of distress among young women including depression, anxiety, fear of recurrence, psychological and physical distress, and quality of life through secondary analysis of data collected in the R01 study MBSR Symptom Cluster Trial for Breast Cancer Survivors. For Phase 2,a pilot study, also the focus of the dissertation research, will be implemented among a subgroup of 80 breast cancer survivors from the Sponsor's R01 grant.
The aims for this pilot study will be to 1) evaluate the efficacy of the MBSR (BC) program in improving sexual distress and body image related distress along with psychological, physical symptoms and quality of life and 2) evaluate whether positive effects achieved from the MBSR (BC) program are modified by specific patient characteristics measured at baseline. Resulting data will provide a better understanding of sexual distress and body image related distress, providing a foundation for future disease prevention and improved quality of life in women experiencing sexual distress and body image related distress as a result of their breast cancer treatment. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will provide further development or adaptation of specific interventions appropriate for improved symptom management, support, and education for women in this population
After treatment for breast cancer, survivors often experience distressing symptoms that occur for many years. Limited research and interventions have been established to minimize these symptoms among younger breast cancer survivors. As part of the Sponsor's R01 grant, this Pre-doctoral NRSA will formally evaluate levels of psychological and physical distress, particularly sexual distress and body image related distress in younger women with breast cancer and the extent to which the MBSR (BC), a stress reducing program, is effective in improving sexual distress and body image related distress along with psychological symptoms, physical symptoms and quality of life in this population.