The role of mindfulness and self-compassion in depressive symptoms and affect: A Comparison between Cancer Patients and Healthy Controls

Loek J. van der Donk*, Joke Fleer, Annika Tovote, Adelita V. Ranchor, Ans Smink, Veronique E.M. Mul, Robbert Sanderman, Maya J. Schroevers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Mindfulness and self-compassion are related to psychological well-being and can be regarded as personal resources. It is, however, unclear whether these resources are always beneficial (direct effect) or only in stressful circumstances (buffer effect). We therefore examined whether mindfulness and self-compassion are equally or more strongly related to depressive symptoms and affect in cancer patients, compared to healthy controls. Methods: Using a case-control design, 245 cancer patients were matched to 245 healthy controls (without chronic somatic comorbidities). Both groups filled out questionnaires concerning mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire), self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale), depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), and affect (Positive and Negative Affect Scale). Using correlation and regression analyses, we examined within both groups the associations for mindfulness (i.e., total score and five facets) and self-compassion (i.e., total score, two factors and six facets) with depressive symptoms and affect. Results: Mindfulness and self-compassion were equally strongly related to depressive symptoms and affect in cancer patients versus healthy controls. Mindfulness facets Act with awareness and Non-judgment were strongly related to depressive symptoms, negative affect, and the negative self-compassion factor. In contrast, mindfulness facets Describe and Observe were strongly related to positive affect and the positive self-compassion factor. When distinguishing the six self-compassion facets, Isolation and Mindfulness were strongly related to depressive symptoms, Over-identification to negative affect, and Mindfulness to positive affect. Conclusions: Results suggest that mindfulness and self-compassion are basic human personal resources associated with psychological functioning, regardless of the presence or absence of stressful life experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-894
Number of pages12
JournalMindfulness
Volume11
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Buffer
  • Case-control
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Stress
  • Affect

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of mindfulness and self-compassion in depressive symptoms and affect: A Comparison between Cancer Patients and Healthy Controls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    van der Donk, L. J., Fleer, J., Tovote, A., Ranchor, A. V., Smink, A., Mul, V. E. M., ... Schroevers, M. J. (2020). The role of mindfulness and self-compassion in depressive symptoms and affect: A Comparison between Cancer Patients and Healthy Controls. Mindfulness, 11(4), 883-894. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01298-1