Improving the well-being of cancer hospitalized patients SENTIR meditation program

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Leilian Carneiro
Francisca Araújo
Albertina Oliveira
Sónia Brito-Costa
Ana Paula Amaral


Cancer, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, SENTIR meditation program, Well-Being, Virtual reality


Background and aim: The present work aims to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a health/wellness promotion program, based on mindfulness meditation, sensory stimulation, and virtual reality, with oncology patients in hospitals. Methods: We developed an intervention study, with pre and post-test quantitative assessment, complemented with qualitative data. The intervention included six personalized sessions combining guided meditation, sensory stimulation, and virtual reality. Twelve cancer patients participated (83.3% female) with a mean age of 33.7 years (SD= ±13.0) receiving treatment at a Cancer Treatment Hospital. Physiological (heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation), and psychological parameters (DASS21) were used. Results: The comparison of the physiological parameters, before and after the sessions, revealed a statistically significant increase in oxygen saturation (p=0.03) after the first session. Regarding the levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, they significantly decreased (p<0.01) after the intervention. Qualitative data reinforced these positive results. Conclusion: The implemented intervention proved to be effective in reducing psychological vulnerability and partially effective in physiological measures. It is concluded that the program promotes the well-being of cancer patients in a hospitalized situation, favoring better coping with the disease.


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