Last updated on June 2019

Mindfulness for Pain Management in Patients With Cancer


Brief description of study

Using pharmacologic agents are often effective to treat patients with cancer pain, but there are associated with serious side-effects and risks of dependence and addiction. The Thai Buddhism-based Mindfulness (TBbM) intervention created by a widely respected Buddhist monk focuses on testing a meditation technique to manage pain. If effective, millions of patients who suffer with cancer pain will benefit from use of a safe, culturally appropriate, non-pharmacologic approach to pain management.

Detailed Study Description

Cancer is leading cause of death in Thailand. One hundred and twenty-eight men and 83 women per 100,000 had a common consequence both of malignancy and its treatment. Pain is experienced by 62% of Thai patients with cancer. Cancer pain is a major health problem because it causes both physical and psychological suffering for millions of individuals. Although pharmacological/analgesic treatment is effective, adverse side effects are common. Internationally, mindfulness is being used as an effective non-pharmacological treatment for psychological problems including distress, anxiety, stress, depression, and to improve quality of life in patients with cancer. However, the effect of mindfulness on pain as the primary outcome has not been sufficiently investigated. A few randomized controlled trials provide evidence that mindfulness interventions influence pain intensity in patients with cancer pain, but culturally targeted interventions have not been tested. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to test the effect of the Thai Buddhism-based Mindfulness (TBbM) program for pain management in Thai outpatients. Using a randomized controlled trial design, the investigators will test theTBbM intervention to improve pain in Thai outpatients (N=160) with cancer who are receiving cancer care at Sawanpracharak Hospital, Thailand. The control group (n = 80) will receive usual care and participate in a one-hour video educational program about cancer pain. The intervention group (n = 80) will receive usual care, participate in a one-hour video educational program about cancer pain, and receive an 8-week TBbM intervention. Investigators will accomplish the overall objective by pursuing the following three specific aims: 1) to compare the effect of the TBbM intervention to that of usual care on worst pain severity (primary outcome) as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory Thai Version (BPI-T); 2) to compare the effect of the TBbM intervention to that of usual care on secondary outcomes (i.e., pain interference, average pain, anxiety and depression, mindfulness, locus of control, and QoL) as measured by the BPI-T, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Thai Version (HADS-T), the Mindfulness Assessment Scale Thai Version (MAS-T), the Beliefs in Pain Control Questionnaire Thai Version (BPCQ-T) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General-Thai Version (FACT-G-T); and 3) to explore the mediating effects of TBbM-induced changes in cognitive (locus of control) and psychological factors (anxiety and depression) on worst pain severity. The investigators posit that the TBbM intervention will be more effective than usual care in reducing pain (primary outcome) and improving pain interference, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, locus of control, and QoL (secondary outcomes). T-tests, analysis of covariance (ANOVA), and path analysis approaches will be used to evaluate TBbM outcomes.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03351010

Recruitment Status: Closed


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