The relationship between mindfulness, pain intensity, pain catastrophizing, depression, and quality of life among cancer survivors living with chronic neuropathic pain
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PURPOSE: This study aims to examine if mindfulness is associated with pain catastrophizing, depression, disability, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in cancer survivors with chronic neuropathic pain (CNP). METHOD: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with cancer survivors experiencing CNP. Participants (n = 76) were men (24 %) and women (76 %) with an average age of 56.5 years (SD = 9.4). Participants were at least 1 year post-treatment, with no evidence of cancer, and with symptoms of neuropathic pain for more than three months. Participants completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), along with measures of pain intensity, pain catastrophizing, pain interference, depression, and HRQOL. RESULTS: Mindfulness was negatively correlated with pain intensity, pain catastrophizing, pain interference, and depression, and it was positively correlated with mental health-related HRQOL. Regression analyses demonstrated that mindfulness was a negative predictor of pain intensity and depression and a positive predictor of mental HRQOL after controlling for pain catastrophizing, age, and gender. The two mindfulness facets that were most consistently associated with better outcomes were non-judging and acting with awareness. Mindfulness significantly moderated the relationships between pain intensity and pain catastrophizing and between pain intensity and pain interference. CONCLUSION: It appears that mindfulness mitigates the impact of pain experiences in cancer survivors experiencing CNP post-treatment. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: This study suggests that mindfulness is associated with better adjustment to CNP. This provides the foundation to explore whether mindfulness-based interventions improve quality of life among cancer survivors living with CNP.
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