OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of 5 minutes of mindful breathing (MB) for rapid reduction of distress in a palliative setting. Its effect to the physiological changes of the palliative cancer patients was also examined.
METHODS: This is a randomized controlled trial. Sixty palliative cancer patients were recruited. They were randomly assigned to either 5 minutes of MB or normal listening arms. The changes of perceived distress, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, galvanic skin response, and skin surface temperature of the patients were measured at baseline, after intervention, and 10 minutes post-intervention.
RESULTS: There was significant reduction of perceived distress, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, and galvanic skin response; also, significant increment of skin surface temperature in the 5-minute MB group. The changes in the 5-minute breathing group were significantly higher than the normal listening group.
CONCLUSION: Five-minute MB is a quick, easy to administer, and effective therapy for rapid reduction of distress in palliative setting. There is a need for future study to establish the long-term efficacy of the therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To understand the psychological processes involved in the experiencing of suffering at the end phase of life.
METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 palliative care inpatients from an academic medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The transcripts were thematically analysed with NVIVO9.
RESULTS: 5 themes of psychological processes of suffering were generated: (1) perceptions, (2) cognitive appraisals, (3) hope and the struggles with acceptance, (4) emotions and (5) clinging. A model of suffering formation was constructed.
CONCLUSION: The findings may inform the development of mechanism-based interventions in the palliation of suffering.