Scientific Letter

The acceptability of colouring in as a mindfulness activity to reduce distress among adult chemotherapy in patients at Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein

Kristen Barnes, Kaamilah Joosub, Mbulelo Koko, Elana Landman, Nadia Parak, Carla Nel, Alicia Sherriff, Gina Joubert
South African Journal of Oncology | Vol 3 | a84 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajo.v3i0.84 | © 2019 Kristen Barnes, Kaamilah Joosub, Mbulelo Koko, Elana Landman, Nadia Parak, Carla Nel, Alicia Sherriff, Gina Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2019 | Published: 20 August 2019

About the author(s)

Kristen Barnes, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Kaamilah Joosub, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Mbulelo Koko, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Elana Landman, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Nadia Parak, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Carla Nel, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Alicia Sherriff, Department of Oncology, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Gina Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Mindfulness-based techniques have been used in the medical context to reduce patient distress. This study aimed to explore the acceptability of colouring in as a mindfulness-based activity for chemotherapy patients. In a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of colouring in as a stress-reducing activity, 18 participants in the intervention group completed self-report questionnaires, an adapted distress scale, a 30-min colouring-in activity, a post-intervention distress scale as well as an acceptability questionnaire. This article reports on the high level of acceptability of this mindfulness-based activity. Over three-quarters of participants experienced it as positive, half recorded lower distress scores after colouring in, 83.0% reported a subjective reduction in distress and 89% confirmed that they would use the activity again. The high level of acceptability found in this study warrants further consideration of colouring in as a cost-effective mindfulness strategy.

Keywords

mindfulness-based techniques; mandala; colour; stress; chemotherapy

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