TitleFeasibility of Mindful After Cancer: Pilot Study of a Virtual Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Sexual Health in Cancer Survivorship.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGorman, JR, Drizin, JH, Smith, E, Corey, S, Temple, M, Rendle, KA
JournalJ Sex Med
Date Published05/2022

BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are increasingly recognized as an effective strategy for supporting female cancer survivors experiencing sexual health concerns.

AIM: To examine the feasibility of a sexual health MBI, Mindful After Cancer, which was adapted to meet the needs of breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in a community setting and for delivery via videoconference.

METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of the 8-week virtual MBI. Weekly sessions were 1.5-2 hours in duration and included guided meditations and group discussion about sexuality after cancer and mindfulness in daily life. Home practice activities related to both mindfulness practice and sexual health. Participants completed online surveys at baseline and 1-month post-intervention. A purposive sample of 10 participants were invited to complete a follow-up interview 2-3 months post-intervention.

OUTCOMES: Primary outcomes included both qualitative and quantitative assessments of acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of the Mindful After Cancer intervention for sexual health in cancer survivorship.

RESULTS: Twenty-two women completed the intervention (Mean age 53.2 years, SD = 9.4, Range= 39-73), with time since diagnosis ranging from 1 to 27 years (Mean 6.0 years, SD = 5.9). Participants completed 6.8 sessions on average (Range = 2 - 8) and 77% reported that the time commitment was manageable. Both qualitative and quantitative findings support the feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness of the intervention.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Many cancer survivors experience sexual dysfunction and related distress after diagnosis and well after treatment ends, yet there are few interventions available. Improved access to effective interventions can improve the delivery of survivorship care and patient outcomes.

STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: The sample size is small for this pilot study, and a control group was not included. The intervention was offered over two time periods, one prior to COVID-19 pandemic and one during the pandemic, resulting in both limitations associated with potential differences between the experiences of participants and the opportunity to learn more about the feasibility of the intervention during times of crisis.

CONCLUSION: Results suggest that virtual delivery of the MBI is feasible, acceptable, and appropriate for breast and gynecologic cancer survivors. Gorman JR, Drizin JH, Smith E, et al. Feasibility of Mindful After Cancer: Pilot Study of a Virtual Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Sexual Health in Cancer Survivorship. J Sex Med 2022;XX:XXX-XXX.

Alternate JournalJ Sex Med
PubMed ID35523716