The effect of an online mindfulness self-compassion training program on psychological distress in caregivers of patients with cancer


1 Department of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Adult Health Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Family caregivers of patients with cancer deal with high levels of psychological distress. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effect of online mindfulness self-compassion (MSC) training programs on psychological distress in family caregivers of patients with cancer. Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted in 2020 on 92 family caregivers of patients with cancer. The participants were conveniently recruited from the family caregivers of patients referred to Seyed Al-Shohada Oncology Hospital, in Isfahan, Iran, and randomly allocated to two groups to receive either 1.5 months of online MSC training program or be treated as usual. All participants completed the Kessler psychological distress scale before, immediately after, and 1 month after the intervention. Data were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U, Chi-square, repeated measures analysis of variance, t, and least significant difference post hoc tests. Results: The mean baseline psychological distress scores were 36.39 ± 4.71 and 35.97 ± 4.06 in the intervention and control groups, respectively (P > 0.05). Immediately after the intervention and 1 month after, the mean scores of psychological distress decreased significantly in the intervention group to reach 26.30 ± 3.91 and 27.73 ± 3.49 (P < 0.001), but no significant changes were found in the mean distress scores of the control group in the second and third measurements. Conclusion: The implementation of an online MSC training program reduced the psychological distress of family caregivers of patients with cancer. Therefore, the same program can be implemented to support such caregivers.


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