The MATCH Study: Mindfulness and Tai Chi for Cancer Health

The MATCH Study: Mindfulness And Tai Chi for Cancer Health

Background: As more people survive cancer, the importance of research on effective interventions for improving quality of life (QOL) amongst survivors is growing. Two interventions with a substantial evidence-base are Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) and Tai chi/Qigong (TCQ). However, these interventions have never been directly compared. Objectives: (1) To compare MBCR and TCQ to each other and a waitlist control condition using an innovative, randomized, preference-based comparative effectiveness trial (CET) design that takes into account potential moderating factors that might predict differential response. (2) To investigate the impacts of MBCR and TCQ on a range of biological outcomes including immune processes, blood pressure, heart rate variability, stress hormones, cellular aging, and gene expression. Methods: The study design is a preference-based multi-site randomized CET incorporating two Canadian sites (Calgary, AB and Toronto, ON). Participants (N total = 600). Participants with a preference for either MBCR or TCQ will get their preferred intervention; while those without a preference will be randomized into either of the two interventions. Within the preference and non-preference groups, participants will also be randomized into immediate intervention groups or a wait-list control. Outcome measures to be assessed pre- and post-intervention and at 6-month follow up include psychological outcomes (mood, stress, mindfulness, spirituality, post-traumatic growth), QOL, symptoms (fatigue, sleep), physical function (strength, endurance), and exploratory analyses of biomarkers (cortisol slopes, cytokines, blood pressure/heart rate variability, telomere length, gene expression), and health economic measures. Hypotheses: The investigators theorize that both MBCR and TCQ will improve outcomes amongst survivors relative to treatment as usual, particularly if patients have a strong preference for a particular intervention. Specifically, the investigators hypothesize that MBCR may be superior to TCQ on measures related to stress and mood. Conversely, TCQ may be superior to MBCR in improvement of physical and functional measures.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Recruiting patients only

Behavioral - Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR)

Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) is a standardized group program which focuses primarily on the challenges faced by people living with cancer. It is an 8-week program consisting of weekly group meetings of 1.5 to 2 hours. Home practice of 45 minutes per day (15 min yoga; 30 min meditation) is prescribed. As the weeks progress, different forms of meditation are introduced, beginning with a body scan sensory awareness experience, progressing to sitting and walking meditations. Gentle Hatha more on

Behavioral - Tai Chi/Qigong (TCQ) for Cancer Patients

TCQ involves a series of slow specific movements or "forms" done in a meditative fashion. It is purported that focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. The practice itself has been separated from its martial arts roots and is widely taught as a health behavior practice and exercise. Qigong exercises generally have three components: a posture (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus on guiding qi t more on

The MATCH Study: Mindfulness And Tai Chi for Cancer Health A Preference-Based Multi-Site Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Trial (CET) of Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) vs. Tai Chi/Qigong (TCQ) in Cancer Survivors