Trait Mindfulness, Affective Symptoms and Quality of Life in People with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Purpose: The construct of mindfulness has previously been examined in cancer patients, as has the efficacy of mindfulness-based treatments. However, it has not been examined in people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). NHL is one of the most distressing cancer diagnoses being associated with high levels of depression, anxiety and poor quality of life (QOL). In this study, we evaluated the experience of depression, anxiety, stress and QOL in people with NHL and the relationship of these states to a trait-based measure of mindfulness. Method: Participants were 125patients and survivors of NHL who had been diagnosed at least 2years ago. They completed an online questionnaire asking about their recent experiences of depression, anxiety, stress, QOL, mindfulness and its components, and the practice of mindfulness-meditation. Results: Controlling for disease status, high overall mindfulness and mindful-acceptance were related to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Mindful-attention, high overall mindfulness and mindful-acceptance were all related to better QOL, after controlling for disease and marital status. Conclusions: The results suggest that attending to one’s thoughts and feelings may be sufficient to experience good quality of life, but it may be insufficient to buffer against the potential for psychological distress. However, the mindful-acceptance of unpleasant, threatening or painful thoughts and feelings may be necessary to prevent or reduce the impact of affective symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Implications for cancer survivors: understanding the potential role played by mindfulness in informing well-being outcomes in NHL patients and survivors may assist in the development of appropriate interventions, aimed at improving their mental health.

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Ellis, S. , Brown, R. , Thorsteinsson, E. and Perrott, C. (2014) Trait Mindfulness, Affective Symptoms and Quality of Life in People with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 5, 1114-1126. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.512115.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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