This pilot project evaluates the neuropeptide oxytocin as a potentially useful biological indicator of changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and well-being in two different randomized clinical studies investigating the effects of mind-body interventions in post-treatment cancer survivors. One study, targeting sleep disturbance, compares 3 sessions (one per week) of Mind-Body Bridging and Mindfulness Meditation with a sleep education control, and another study investigating physical performance, compares 24 sessions (twice weekly) of Tai Chi Chih with a health education control. In each experimental and control group, 10 subjects will collect saliva samples at baseline, post-intervention, 2-3 month follow-up, and immediately prior to and following the final session. At similar intervals, participants will complete a series of self-report HRQOL questionnaires. We expect that oxytocin levels will increase in the mind-body interventions to a greater extent than in the control groups, corresponding to improvements in HRQOL and wellbeing.

David Lipschitz

University of Utah