Effects of Mind Clearing Meditation Program on Breast Cancer Survivors’ Psychological Well-being


Research title

Effects of Maum Meditation Program on Breast Cancer Survivors’ Psychological Well‐being
(A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2013)


Yun, Mi Ra
(Department of Nursing, The Graduate School Seoul National University)


Most of breast cancer survivors experience psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. Such psychological distress can negatively impact their physical symptoms, quality of life, and quality of sleep. There is much evidence that meditation elevates emotional wellbeing and improves many physical and psychological symptoms through a possible activation of self‐healing mechanism.

The objectives of this study were: to develop the Maum Meditation program for breast cancer survivors; to determine its effects on depression, anxiety, perceived stress, quality of life, quality of sleep, satisfaction with life, and post-traumatic growth index; and to compare these effects to the self-management education program. Based on advanced needs assessments of breast cancer survivors, a theoretical background was developed from a concept of the Maum Meditation, which can be summarized as ‘discard the negative human mind and change to the infinitive universe mind.’ Based on this concept, the Maum Meditation program for breast cancer survivors was initiated. The intervention consisted of meditating twice a week with each lasting 2 hours for 8 weeks duration. A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 57 female breast cancer survivors recruited from a tertiary hospital in Seoul, Korea of Republic. All subjects were within 2. 5 years of treatment completion with surgery or chemotherapy. The subjects were randomly assigned to an 8‐week Maum Meditation program (n=27) or a 4‐week self management education program (n=27). The final analysis was conducted on 22 subjects of the Maum Meditation group and 24 subjects of the self -management education group. Statistical analysis included repeated measures ANOVA, t‐test, and χ2 test. In addition, qualitative analysis was performed on the participants’ subjective experience reported during the Maum Meditation program.

The results were as follows: first, compared with self-management education program, the subjects assigned to the Maum Meditation for breast cancer survivors had significantly lower mean levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress, along with higher quality of life, quality of sleep, satisfaction with life, post-traumatic growth index. Secondly, the participants in the Maum Meditation program experienced: meeting the ‘mind subtraction method’, grappling with it, discarding the negative mindsets about interpersonal relationships, disease, and false “I.” In addition, they experienced self‐transformation from imprisonment to freedom, negativism to positivism, a closed door to an opened world, and looking forward to the true happiness. Thirdly, the Maum Meditation program was found to be feasible in clinical setting for breast cancer survivors within 2.5 years after primary treatment.
Many research studies show spiritual well-being and positive point of view are essential to improve health and quality of life. This study indicates that the Maum Meditation program for breast cancer survivors improve many aspects of life and health. Through discarding any negativism, transformation to positivism occurs and this leads to the improvement of health, quality of life, positivism, and real happiness.

Key words: Breast Cancer Survivors, Maum Meditation, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Quality of Life

Leave a Reply