Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith


Social Work


This systematic review was designed to gather and analyze data available regarding the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in decreasing depression or anxiety for oncology/hematology patients. The electronic databases used to identify studies for this review included the University of St. Thomas’ Summon Data Base, Psychinfo, Social Work Abstracts, SocINDEX and St. Catherine University’s Academic Search Premier. Sixteen quantitative studies met criteria and were reviewed and analyzed. All sixteen studies were divided between the categories of post cancer treatment/cancer survivors or active cancer diagnosis. The three major themes that surfaced within these two categories were depression, anxiety and stress. The studies included in this systematic review find Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to aid patients and cancer survivors in decreasing their symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. The research shows MBSR can benefit patients with active cancer diagnoses along with survivors while also being a very powerful tool in the medical setting for not only oncology patients but all patients. Additional research is required to understand the length of ongoing effectiveness MBSR can have on symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress for cancer patients and cancer survivors.

Included in

Social Work Commons