Purpose: Young adults with cancer often experience stress, depression, and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation is an effective intervention for these outcomes, and maintenance support may be needed for long-term improvements. eHealth technologies provide a promising delivery strategy for maintenance interventions. Methods: Following an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course, 62 young adult cancer survivors were randomized to 8 weeks of instructor-framed messages, peer-framed messages, or no messages. On average, participants were 33.6 years old. The majority of participants were college-educated Caucasian females. We examined attrition rates between participants who received messages and those who did not, and compared response rates from different perceived sources. In addition, we evaluated the preliminary effects of eHealth support on mindfulness and associated outcomes. Results: No significant differences in attrition or message response rates across groups were observed. Repeated measures models revealed significant group by time interactions on perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. There were no differences between the groups that received eHealth messages and the group that did not. There was a significant difference in anxiety symptoms from post-MBSR to post-messaging between messaging groups. Individuals who received instructor-framed messages reported increased symptoms of anxiety over time. Conclusion: Attrition and response rates did not differ across groups, suggesting that eHealth may be a feasible strategy for providing maintenance support. However, further evaluation of feasibility, acceptability, and optimal content and dose of such an intervention is needed. Additionally, young adult cancer survivors may be more likely to benefit from eHealth interventions that are not delivered by authority figures.
- cancer survivors
- peer group
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health