Stress :: Whether stress management techniques improve immunity ?

A study conducted by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to see how stress – reduction workshops can help women with a family history of breast cancer manage their everyday stresses and cancer-risk concerns.

The overall goal of the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is to see whether various stress-management and coping techniques improve immune function.

This is important because research has shown that high levels of stress can make the immune system less responsive to vaccines and more vulnerable to infection.

Specifically, the study will teach women scientifically proven stress-management techniques (such as mindfulness meditation and guided imagery), coping strategies (such as anger management and assertiveness training) and information on health behaviors that can lower breast-cancer risk. All workshops are conducted in a supportive group setting with other women who have a family history of breast cancer. There is no charge to participate.

All participants will receive a set of CDs with relaxation exercises, a tote bag and a workbook filled with stress- management techniques taught in the classes.

The study aims to recruit 226 Seattle-area women, age 18 to 60, who are willing to participate in 10 two-hour workshops. Participants also will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires, give blood and saliva samples, and receive two Hepatitis A vaccinations.

All study activities will take place on the Hutchinson Center campus in the Prevention Center, which is located in the Robert Arnold Building, 1212 Aloha St, Seattle.

For more information about the Health SMART Study, please call the study information line at (206) 667-7267

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