Online Couple-Based Meditation Intervention for Patients With Primary or Metastatic Brain Tumors and Their Partners: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Kathrin Milbury, Shiao Pei Weathers, Sania Durrani, Yisheng Li, Meagan Whisenant, Jing Li, Bora Lim, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, Shelli R. Kesler, Lorenzo Cohen, Eduardo Bruera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Although patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors and their partners are at risk of experiencing high symptom burden, they are often excluded from psychosocial intervention studies. Thus, we sought to examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a couple-based meditation (CBM) program targeting symptom and well-being outcomes. Methods: Couples completed baseline measures assessing symptom and well-being outcomes and were randomized to the CBM or a usual care control group. Couples in the CBM groups attended four weekly (60 minutes each) therapist-led sessions that were delivered via FaceTime (Apple Inc, Cupertino, CA). The CBM program focused on cultivating mindfulness, compassion, gratitude and purpose, and integrated emotional disclosure exercises. Both groups were reassessed six and 12 weeks after baseline. Results: We approached 60 eligible dyads, of which 37 (62%) consented, 35 (95%) were randomized, and 22 (63%) completed all assessments. Couples in the CBM group attended a mean of 3.33 sessions (SD 1.09). For patients, significant group differences in favor of the CBM group were found for cognitive (d = 1.05) and general disease symptoms (d = 0.93), and relationship well-being (d = 0.68) and compassion (d = 0.96). No significant group differences were revealed for partners. Conclusion: It seems to be feasible, acceptable, and possibly efficacious to deliver a dyadic intervention via FaceTime to brain tumor couples. Although both patients and partners in the CBM group rated the intervention as beneficial, significant group differences with medium-to-large effect sizes were only found for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1267
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pain and symptom management
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Brain tumor
  • caregivers
  • couples
  • meditation
  • psychosocial intervention
  • quality of life
  • symptoms
  • videoconference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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