Crane-Okada et al. (2012) Mindful Movement Program for Older Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study

literature type:

journal article


Rebecca Crane-Okada, Holly Kiger, Fred Sugerman, Gwen C. Uman, Shauna L. Shapiro, Wendy Wyman-McGinty, and Nancy R.L. Anderson. Cancer Nursing. 2012; Vol. 35, No. 4: pp E1-E13.


Older breast cancer survivors (BCSs) are at risk for late and long-term treatment effects on quality of life (QOL), including lower physical functioning and fear of recurrence. Two promising approaches to address this include dance/movement therapy and mindfulness.

The purpose of this 2-group randomized controlled pilot feasibility study was to test short-term effects of a 12-week Mindful Movement Program (MMP) intervention combining mindfulness with self-directed movement on QOL and mindfulness in female BCSs 50 years or older and at 12 months or more following treatment.

Consented participants were randomized to an experimental group (EG) (12 weekly MMP sessions) or a control group (no sessions). All completed questionnaires 3 times. The EG participants kept home practice diaries. Analysis was conducted after intervention for immediate effects on outcome variables and 6 weeks later for maintenance of effects.

Participants (n = 49) ranged in age from 50 to 90 years (average, 65.6 years) and were at 9.8 years since diagnosis (range, 1–32 years), and the majority were white, unpartnered, and retired. After intervention, EG participants showed improved QOL via decreased fear of recurrence and increased mindfulness attitude. At 6 weeks, initial effects were retained.

The MMP appears to benefit older BCSs by reducing fear of recurrence and improving mindfulness attitude. Although these findings are promising, a larger study is needed to determine more specifically what short- and long-term effects are possible.

Implications for Practice:
The combination of self-directed movement and mindfulness, as tested here, may be a valuable tool for promoting health and well-being in older long-term survivors of breast cancer.


arts categories:


population(s) served:

older adults